The pharmacokinetics of spiramycin in pigs were investigated after intravenous and oral administration. The potential therapeutically effective blood level was established after a single administration and examined in a subsidiary five day study. The rapid intravenous injection of 25 mg spiramycin/kg bodyweight produced marked salivation in all the test animals. The elimination half-life (2.3 +/- 1.2 hours) was relatively short, in accordance with the total body clearance rate (27.3 +/- 10.1 ml/minute/kg). The high volume of distribution (5.2 +/- 2.2 litres/kg) was due to the accumulation of the drug in the body tissues. The maximum plasma concentration (4.1 +/- 1.7 micrograms/ml) after oral administration of 85 to 100 mg spiramycin/kg bodyweight was reached after 3.7 +/- 0.8 hours and the half-life of the elimination phase was 6.0 +/- 2.4 hours. The oral bioavailability was 45.4 +/- 23.4 per cent. Ad libitum feeding of a diet containing 2550 mg spiramycin/kg produced a steady state concentration of 0.96 +/- 0.27 micrograms/ml. This plasma concentration would provide a potentially therapeutically effective blood concentration against Mycoplasma species, Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus species.
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