Clinical interpretation of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data in zoologic companion animal species

Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2011 Jan;14(1):1-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cvex.2010.09.006.


The treatment and prevention of pain in zoologic companion animals is difficult because of the lack of data available on the safety and efficacy of analgesics. Pharmacokinetic (PK)-pharmacodynamic (PD) studies integrate changes in drug concentrations and changes in the drug's effect. All experimental studies assessing the PDs of analgesics have limitations in animals, but the data provided by experimental studies are valuable in designing dosages. Placebo-controlled, randomized, and blinded clinical trials provide the best PK and PD data, but are rarely performed in major veterinary species because of the number of animals required for the study, lack of preliminary PK and PD data in a given species, species-specific differences in PK and PD, and ethical and toxicologic concerns. The usefulness and limitations as well as considerations for interpreting PK, PD, and controlled clinical studies are discussed. An example of allometric analysis of buprenorphine in mammals is also included.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / veterinary*
  • Analgesics / pharmacokinetics*
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Biological
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain / veterinary*
  • Pain Measurement / veterinary
  • Species Specificity
  • Veterinary Drugs / pharmacokinetics
  • Veterinary Drugs / pharmacology


  • Analgesics
  • Veterinary Drugs