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Am J Vet Res. 2000 Sep;61(9):1011-5.

Effects of prior feeding on pharmacokinetics and estimated bioavailability after oral administration of a single dose of microencapsulated erythromycin base in healthy foals.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211, USA.



To determine effects of prior feeding on pharmacokinetics and estimated bioavailability of orally administered microencapsulated erythromycin base (MEB) in healthy foals.


6 healthy foals, 3 to 5 months old.


Foals were given 2 doses of MEB (25 mg/kg of body weight, PO). One dose was administered after food was withheld overnight, and the other was administered after foals had consumed hay. The study used a crossover design with a 2-week period between doses. Blood was collected via a jugular vein prior to and at specific times after drug administration. Concentrations of erythromycin A and anhydroerythromycin A in plasma were determined, using high-performance liquid chromatography. Results pharmacokinetic analysis of plasma concentration-time data for food-withheld and fed conditions were compared.


Plasma concentrations of erythromycin A for foals were lower after feeding than concentrations when food was withheld. Area under the plasma concentration-time curve, maximum plasma concentration, and estimated bioavailability were greater in foals when food was withheld than when foals were fed. Anhydroerythromycin A was detected in plasma after administration of MEB in all foals.


Foals should be given MEB before they are fed hay. Administration of MEB to foals from which food was withheld overnight apparently provides plasma concentrations of erythromycin A that exceed the minimum inhibitory concentration of Rhodococcus equi for approximately 5 hours. The dosage of 25 mg/kg every 8 hours, PO, appears appropriate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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