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Pharmacokinetics of tramadol following intravenous and oral administration in male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

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Recently, tramadol and its active metabolite, O-desmethyltramadol (M1), have been studied as analgesic agents in various traditional veterinary species (e.g., dogs, cats, etc.). This study explores the pharmacokinetics of tramadol and M1 after intravenous (IV) and oral (PO) administration in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), a nontraditional veterinary species. Rhesus macaques are Old World monkeys that are commonly used in biomedical research. Effects of tramadol administration to monkeys are unknown, and research veterinarians may avoid inclusion of this drug into pain management programs due to this limited knowledge. Four healthy, socially housed, adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were used in this study. Blood samples were collected prior to, and up to 10 h post-tramadol administration. Serum tramadol and M1 were analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Noncompartmental pharmacokinetic analysis was performed. Tramadol clearance was 24.5 (23.4-32.7) mL/min/kg. Terminal half-life of tramadol was 111 (106-127) min IV and 133 (84.9-198) min PO. Bioavailability of tramadol was poor [3.47% (2.14-5.96%)]. Maximum serum concentration of M1 was 2.28 (1.88-2.73) ng/mL IV and 11.2 (9.37-14.9) ng/mL PO. Sedation and pruritus were observed after IV administration.

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