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Systemic uptake of buprenorphine by cats after oral mucosal administration
  1. S. A. Robertson, BVMS, DACVA, DECVA, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. P. M. Taylor, MA, VetMB, PhD, DVA, MRCVS2 and
  3. J. W. Sear, MA, MB, BS, PhD, FFARCS, FANZCA3
  1. 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, PO Box 100136, Gainsville, Florida, 32610, USA
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OES
  3. 3 Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HE


The plasma concentration of buprenorphine was measured by radioimmunoassay in six female cats after the administration of 0.01 mg/kg (0.033 ml/kg) buprenorphine hydrochloride solution into the side of the cat's mouth. Blood samples were taken through a preplaced jugular catheter before and one, two, four, six, 10, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes, and two, four, six, 12 and 24 hours after the dose was administered. The buprenorphine was accepted well by all the cats and did not cause salivation or vomiting. Its median peak plasma concentration was 7.5 ng/ml and was reached after 15 minutes. The pharmacokinetic data were similar to the pharmacokinetic data obtained after the intramuscular and intravenous administration of buprenorphine to cats from the same colony, suggesting that the mucosal route of administration should be as effective as intravenous and intramuscular injections. In addition, the pH of the oral cavity of 26 cats was measured with pH paper, and 100 cat owners were asked their preferred method of administering drugs to cats. The pH of the cats' mouths was between 8 and 9, and the technique preferred by the cat owners was the use of drops placed in the mouth.

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