Tamoxifen in Horses: Pharmacokinetics and Safety Study

Ir Vet J. 2019 Jun 20;72:5. doi: 10.1186/s13620-019-0143-7. eCollection 2019.

Abstract

Background: Tamoxifen (TAM), a selective modulator of estrogen receptors (SERMs) has been recently explored as a therapeutic option for the oral treatment of airway inflammation in the horse. The objective of this work was to establish pharmacokinetic parameters of TAM and its main metabolites in equines, as well as to determine its clinical safety in short-term treatments.

Results: We determined TAM and its three main metabolites (4-OH tamoxifen, endoxifen, and N-desmethyl tamoxifen) in plasma after single administration of 0.25 mg/kg in healthy adult horses (n = 12). A maximum concentration of TAM was achieved 3 h after the oral administration (4.65 pg/mL ± 1.69); 4-OH tamoxifen was the metabolite that reached the highest concentration (78 pg/mL ± 70), followed by N-desmethyl tamoxifen (0.43 pg / mL ± 0.48), and finally endoxifen (0.17 pg/mL ± 0.17). All metabolites showed peak concentration 2 h after oral administration of the drug. Oral TAM bioavailability was 13,15% ± 4,18, with a steady state volume of distribution of 7831 ± 2922 (L/kg). Elimination half-life was 15.40 ± 5.80 h, and clearance was 5876 ± 699 (mL/kg/min). Clinical safety of TAM was determined over a 7-day course of treatment (0.25 mg/kg, orally q 24 h, n = 20). No adverse effects were observed through clinical examination, blood hematology, serum biochemistry, ophthalmological and reproductive examinations. Endometrial edema observed in some mares was attributed to normal cyclic activity.

Conclusions: Tamoxifen has moderate oral bioavailability and a large volume of distribution, with three main metabolites in horses. Additionally, oral TAM administration over a 7-day treatment period demonstrated to be clinically safe, without adverse effects on clinical, hematological or serum biochemical parameters. These data could contribute to the continued research into this drug's potential for the treatment of different inflammatory conditions in equine species.

Keywords: Horse; Pharmacokinetic; Safety; Tamoxifen.