Although developed as a therapeutic medication, meldonium has found widespread use in human sports and was recently added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances. Its reported abuse potential in human sports has led to concern by regulatory authorities about the possible misuse of meldonium in equine athletics. The potential abuse in equine athletes along with the limited data available regarding the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of meldonium in horses necessitates further study. Eight exercised adult thoroughbred horses received a single oral dose of 3.5, 7.1, 14.3 or 21.4 mg/kg of meldonium. Blood and urine samples were collected and analyzed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined using non-compartmental analysis. Maximum serum concentrations ranged from 440.2 to 1147 ng/mL and the elimination half-life from 422 to 647.8 h. Serum concentrations were below the limit of quantitation by days 4, 7, 12 and 12 for doses of 3.5, 7.1, 14.3 and 21.4 mg/kg, respectively. Urine concentrations were below the limit of detection by day 44 following administration of 3.5 mg/kg and day 51 for all other dose groups. No adverse effects were observed following meldonium administration. While the group numbers were small, changes in heart rate were observed in the 3.5 mg/kg dose group (n = 1). Glucose concentrations changed significantly in all dose groups studied (n = 2 per dose group). Similar to that reported for humans, the detection time of meldonium in biological samples collected from horses is prolonged, which should allow for satisfactory regulation in performance horses.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Drug Testing and Analysis|
|State||Published - Sep 2017|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by funds provided through the California Horse Racing Board drug testing program. The authors would like to acknowledge Stacy Steinmetz, Kelsey Bradanini, Sandy Yim, Briana Hamamoto and Kendra Mitchell for technical assistance.
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- horse racing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Science