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J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Dec;34(6):521-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2885.2011.01287.x. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Pharmacokinetics of veterinary drugs in laying hens and residues in eggs: a review of the literature.

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Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, USA.


Poultry treated with pharmaceutical products can produce eggs contaminated with drug residues. Such residues could pose a risk to consumer health. The following is a review of the information available in the literature regarding drug pharmacokinetics in laying hens, and the deposition of drugs into eggs of poultry species, primarily chickens. The available data suggest that, when administered to laying hens, a wide variety of drugs leave detectable residues in eggs laid days to weeks after the cessation of treatment.

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