Preliminary evaluation of sustained-release compared with conventional formulations of meloxicam in sheep (ovis aries)

Misha L. Dunbar, Krista J. Walkowiak, Jill Schappa Faustich, Aaron Rendahl, Melanie L Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sustained-release (SR) drugs refine current analgesic regimens by alleviating the need for multiple sessions of handling and restraint and by reducing the local tissue irritation that can occur due to repeated injections. Although a variety of SR drugs are already used in lab animal medicine, no studies exist that evaluate the suitability of an SR NSAID in sheep. This study used HPLC-MS to measure the plasma concentrations of 2 formulations of meloxicam-conventional and SRM- after subcutaneous administration in 6 adult ewes. Blood was collected at 0, 4, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 120, 144, and 168 h after injection. In addition, physical exams, urinalysis, and biochemical analysis were performed at 0, 24, 48, and 120 h after dosage. Peak plasma concentrations were 1057 ± 433 ng/mL at 4 ± 0 h for conventional meloxicam and 3238 ± 1480 ng/mL at 6.7 ± 4.1 h for SR meloxicam (SRM). Elimination half-lives were 12.1 ± 4.2 for CM and 15.2 ± 2.4 h for SRM. One sheep had an episode of acute renal azotemia starting 24 h after SRM administration; the episode resolved over time, and the definitive relationship to SRM administration was not determined. Plasma levels of SRM were higher than CM throughout the initial 24 h, remained variably elevated until 60 h after injection, but failed to sustain presumed therapeutic levels of 400 ng/mL for the full 72 h across all animals in this study. Further investigation is warranted to determine the safety and clinical efficacy of SRM in sheep. Currently, when SRM is used in sheep, we recommend the combination of a preemptive and multimodal analgesia regimen with clinical assessments throughout the postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.


  • CM
  • Cmax
  • Conventional meloxicam
  • Maximal plasma concentration
  • SRM
  • Sustained-release meloxicam
  • Time to maximal concentration
  • Tmax


Dive into the research topics of 'Preliminary evaluation of sustained-release compared with conventional formulations of meloxicam in sheep (ovis aries)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this