Five horses with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were treated with 0.11 (0.01) mg/kg bodyweight of montelukast, a cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonist, once a day for 26 days. The horses were evaluated clinically and endoscopically and subjected to arterial blood gas analysis and lung function tests before and after the period of treatment, and the plasma concentrations of montelukast were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The treatment did not result in statistically significant differences in the total scores of clinical and endoscopical signs, or in the difference in the arterioalveolar partial pressure of oxygen, maximal changes in pleural pressure, pulmonary resistance or dynamic compliance. The mean (sd) peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of montelukast was 12 (4) ng/ml and was reached 66 (13) minutes (tmax) after its oral administration. The dose of montelukast per kg bodyweight was approximately the same as that for human beings, but the Cmax in the horses was 28 times lower and the tmax was reached in one-fifth of the time, suggesting that its oral bioavailability may be lower.
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