A single-dose meloxicam pharmacokinetic (PK) study was performed with eight clinically healthy nursehound sharks (Scyliorhinus stellaris) maintained under human care. Meloxicam was administered IM at a dosage of 1.5 mg/kg to six animals; two animals were administered elasmobranch physiological saline solution (EPSS) IM as a negative control group. Blood samples were obtained prior to and at 12 predetermined times during the first 36 h after administration. Effects on hematology and plasma biochemistry were compared prior to and 24 h after administration. No animal died or showed clinical signs during the study. A significant increase in creatinine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase was found in both EPSS and meloxicam groups and could be considered a direct consequence of sampling and handling required for the PK study. Observed mean time to maximum plasma concentration ± SEM was 2.58 ± 0.47 h and observed mean maximum plasma concentration ± SEM was 806 ± 66 ng/ml; mean terminal half-life ± SEM was 15.97 ± 1.20 h; mean residency time ± SEM was 23.40 ± 2.25 h. Area under the plasma concentration–versus-time curve extrapolated to infinity ± SEM was 15.52 ± 1.70 h·µg/ml. This study suggests that meloxicam 1.5 mg/kg IM in nursehound sharks is likely to result in clinically relevant plasma levels for periods of 24 h without producing significant alterations in blood analytics, although further PK studies with meloxicam IV in sharks are needed. Future PK and pharmacodynamic studies with different drugs and doses are needed in elasmobranchs to establish safe and effective treatment protocols.
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16 June 2022
PHARMACOKINETICS OF MELOXICAM AFTER A SINGLE 1.5 MG/KG INTRAMUSCULAR ADMINISTRATION TO NURSEHOUND SHARKS (SCYLIORHINUS STELLARIS) AND ITS EFFECTS ON HEMATOLOGY AND PLASMA BIOCHEMISTRY