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Res Vet Sci. 2012 Feb;92(1):111-5. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.11.001. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Pharmacokinetics in pulmonary epithelial lining fluid and plasma of ampicillin and pivampicillin administered to horses.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2630 Taastrup, Denmark.


Ampicillin concentrations in pulmonary epithelial lining fluid (PELF) and plasma was studied after single intravenous ampicillin administration (15mg/kg) or single intragastric administration of its prodrug, pivampicillin (19.9mg/kg) to horses and discussed in relation to minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of common equine respiratory pathogens. After intravenous administration, elimination of ampicillin was fast and not detectable in plasma after 12h in three out of six horses. Pivampicillin was absorbed well in non-fasted horses with an oral bioavailability of 36%. The degree of penetration of ampicillin into PELF, as described by the AUC(PELF)/AUC(plasma) ratio from 0 to 12h was 0.40 after intravenous administration and 1.00 after pivampicillin administration. In horses, ampicillin administered either intravenously or orally, in the form of pivampicillin, can provide clinically relevant drug concentrations in PELF for at least 12h, when treating susceptible equine respiratory pathogens (e.g. streptococci). Treatment of other bacterial pathogens requires susceptibility testing and possibly more frequent dosing, depending of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) values.

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