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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 26;56(22):11049-56. doi: 10.1021/jf802138y.

Plasma and tissue depletion of florfenicol and florfenicol-amine in chickens.

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Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Chickens were used to investigate plasma disposition of florfenicol after single intravenous (i.v.) and oral dose (20 mg kg-1 body weight) and to study residue depletion of florfenicol and its major metabolite florfenicol-amine after multiple oral doses (40 mg kg-1 body weight, daily for 3 days). Plasma and tissue samples were analyzed using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. After i.v. and oral administration, plasma concentration-time curves were best described by a two-compartment open model. The mean [ +/- standard deviation (SD)] elimination half-life (t1/2beta) of florfenicol in plasma was 7.90 +/- 0.48 and 8.34 +/- 0.64 h after i.v. and oral administration, respectively. The maximum plasma concentration was 10.23 +/- 1.67 microg mL-1, and the interval from oral administration until maximal concentration was 0.63 +/- 0.07 h. Oral bioavailability was found to be 87 +/- 16%. Florfenicol was converted to florfenicol-amine. After multiple oral dose (40 mg kg-1 body weight, daily for 3 days), in kidney and liver, concentrations of florfenicol (119.34 +/- 31.81 and 817.34 +/- 91.65 microg kg-1, respectively) and florfenicol-amine (60.67 +/- 13.05 and 48.50 +/- 13.07 microg kg-1, respectively) persisted for 7 days. The prolonged presence of residues of florfenicol and florfenicol-amine in edible tissues can play an important role in human food safety, because the compounds could give rise to a possible health risk. A withdrawal time of 6 days was necessary to ensure that the residues of florfenicol were less than the maximal residue limits or tolerance established by the European Union.

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