Percutaneous absorption of methimazole: an in vitro study of the absorption pharmacokinetics for two different vehicles

J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Dec;38(6):581-9. doi: 10.1111/jvp.12213. Epub 2015 Feb 16.


The use of transdermal medications in cats has become popular in veterinary medicine due to the ease of administration compared to oral medication. However, the research to support systemic absorption of drugs applied to the pinna after transdermal administration in cats is limited. The aim of this study was to characterize the percutaneous absorption pharmacokinetics of methimazole in a lipophilic vehicle compared to methimazole in Pluronic(®) lecithin organogel (PLO) using a finite dose applied to feline ear skin in an in vitro Franz cell model. The two formulations of methimazole (10 mg) were applied to the inner stratum corneum of six pairs of feline ears. The receptor medium was sampled up to 30 h post-administration, and methimazole concentrations were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Histological examination of all ears was undertaken as small differences in the thickness of ear skin may have contributed to inter-individual differences in methimazole absorption between six cats. Methimazole was absorbed more completely across the pinnal skin when administered in the lipophilic vehicle compared to administration in the PLO gel (P < 0.001).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Antithyroid Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antithyroid Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cats
  • Ear, External
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Methimazole / administration & dosage
  • Methimazole / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / pharmacokinetics
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Antithyroid Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Methimazole