Pharmacokinetics and preliminary safety evaluation of azithromycin in adult horses

M. Leclere, K. G. Magdesian, C. A. Cole, N. J. Szabo, R. E. Ruby, D. M. Rhodes, J. Edman, A. Vale, W. D. Wilson, L. A. Tell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Azithromycin is widely used in foals but has not been studied in adult horses. The goals of this study were to determine the pharmacokinetic profile and to make a preliminary assessment of the safety of azithromycin in adult horses. Azithromycin was administered intravenously (5mg/kg) and intragastrically (10mg/kg) to six healthy mares in a crossover design. Serial plasma samples, blood neutrophils, and pulmonary macrophages were collected for the measurement of azithromycin concentrations. Azithromycin was also administered orally (10mg/kg) once a day for 5days to five healthy mares for preliminary evaluation of safety in adult horses. The bioavailability of azithromycin following intragastric administration was 45±12%. Concentrations within peripheral neutrophils and bronchoalveolar macrophages were several fold higher than that of plasma. Mild decreases in appetite (n=3) and alterations in fecal consistency (n=3) were noted following repeated oral administration. The pharmacokinetic profiles of azithromycin in adult horses, especially the slow elimination rate and intraneutrophil and intrapulmonary macrophage accumulation, demonstrate that it is conducive to use in this age group. Because of the gastrointestinal alterations noted, further studies are warranted before azithromycin can be recommended for use in adult horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacokinetics and preliminary safety evaluation of azithromycin in adult horses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this