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Papers of the Week

2020 May

J Equine Vet Sci


Detection and Pharmacokinetics of Etoricoxib in Thoroughbred Horses.


Subhahar MB, Singh J, Albert PH, Kadry AM
J Equine Vet Sci. 2020 May; 88:102942.
PMID: 32303303.


Etoricoxib, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2, is used in the treatment of many inflammatory diseases and dental pain in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of etoricoxib in horses. Six horses weighing an average of 475 ± 25 kg were administered a single oral dose of etoricoxib at 1 mg/kg body weight. The results show that the drug reached a maximum concentration of 505.2 ± 67.8 ng/mL in 48 minutes after administration. The elimination half-life was calculated to be 10.20 ± 1.30 hours. Mass spectrometric analysis confirmed that etoricoxib is metabolized in horses via the oxidation of its 6'-methyl group to form a hydroxyl methyl etoricoxib which can further be oxidized to form either an acid or be glucuronidated. In addition, the 1'-N terminal of 6'-hydroxymethyl metabolite is oxidized to form the corresponding 1'-N oxide metabolite. The present results have clearly demonstrated that etoricoxib is mainly excreted in urine as metabolites. From these data, it is also possible to postulate a detection time for the metabolites which in turn can assist in the control of illegal use of the drug in horse racing.