Pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine following intravenous and oral transmucosal administration in dogs

Vet Ther. Summer 2008;9(2):83-93.


Pharmacokinetic analysis of buprenorphine administered to six healthy dogs via the oral transmucosal (OTM) route at doses of 20 and 120 microg/kg was conducted using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Bioavailability was 38% plus or minus 12% for the 20 microg/kg dose and 47%+/-16% for the 120 microg/kg dose. Maximum plasma concentrations were similar for buprenorphine doses of 20 microg/kg IV and 120 microg/kg OTM. Sedation and salivation were common side effects, but no bradycardia, apnea, or cardiorespiratory depressive effects were seen. When the two OTM dosing rates were normalized to dose, LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis of buprenorphine and its metabolites detected no significant difference (P>.05), indicating dose proportionality. The results of this study suggest that OTM buprenorphine may be an alternative for pain management in dogs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Analgesics, Opioid / blood
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Buprenorphine / blood
  • Buprenorphine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / veterinary
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dog Diseases / blood
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs / blood
  • Dogs / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Injections, Intravenous / veterinary
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Pain / blood
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / veterinary*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Buprenorphine