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Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2004 Apr;111(4):162-5.

Pharmacokinetics and tissue residue profiles of erythromycin in broiler chickens after different routes of administration.

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Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.


This study investigated the disposition kinetics and plasma availability of erythromycin in broiler chickens after single intravenous (i.v.), intramuscular (i.m.), subcutaneous (s.c.) and oral administrations (p.o.) of 30 mg kg(-1) b. wt. Tissue residue profiles were also studied after multiple intramuscular, subcutaneous, and oral administration of 30 mg kg(-1) b. wt., twice daily for three consecutive days. Plasma and tissue concentrations of erythromycin were determined using microbiological assay methods with Micrococcus luteus as the test organism. Following intravenous injection, plasma concentration-vs-time curves were best described by a two compartment open model. The decline in plasma drug concentration was bi-exponential with half-lives of (t(1/2alpha)) 0.19 h and (t(1/2beta)) 5.3 h for distribution and elimination phases, respectively. After intramuscular, subcutaneous and oral administration erythromycin at the same dose was detected in plasma at 10 min and reached its minimum level 8 h post-administration. The peak plasma concentration (Cmax) were 5.0, 5.3, and 6.9 microg x ml(-1) and were attained at 1.7, 1.4, and 1.3 h (Tmax), respectively. The elimination half-lives (T(1/2el)) were 3.9, 2.6, and 4.1 h and the mean residence times (MRT) were 3.5, 3.2, and 3.6 h, respectively. The systemic bioavailabilities were 92.5, 68.8, and 109.3%, respectively. In vitro protein binding percent of erythromycin in broiler plasma was ranged from 21 to 31%. The limit of quantification (LOQ) for the assay was 0.03 microg x ml(-1) in plasma and tissues. The tissue level concentrations were highest in the liver, and decreased in the following order: plasma > kidney > lung > muscle and heart. No erythromycin residues were detected in tissues and plasma after 24 h except in liver and kidney where it persisted during 48 h following intramuscular and oral administrations.

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