The pharmacokinetics of xylazine hydrochloride: an interspecific study

J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 1981 Jun;4(2):87-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2885.1981.tb00715.x.


The pharmacokinetic disposition of xylazine hydrochloride is described after both intravenous and intramuscular injection of a single dose, in four domestic species: horse, cattle, sheep and dog, by an original high performance liquid chromatographic technique. Remarkably small interspecific differences are reported. After intravenous administration, systemic half-life (t1/2 beta) ranged between 22 min (sheep) and 50 min (horse) while the distribution phase is transient with half-life (t1/2 alpha) ranging from 1.2 min (cattle) to 5.9 min (horse). The peak level of drug concentration in the plasma is reached after 12-14 min in all the species studied following intramuscular administration. Xylazine bioavailability, as measured by the ratios of the areas under the intravenous and intramuscular plasma concentration versus time curves, ranged from 52% to 90% in dog, 17% to 73% in sheep and 40% to 48% in horse. The low dosage in cattle did not permit calculation. Kinetic data are correlated with clinical data and the origins of interspecific differences are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Cattle / metabolism*
  • Dogs / metabolism*
  • Horses / metabolism*
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Kinetics
  • Sheep / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Thiazines / metabolism*
  • Xylazine / blood
  • Xylazine / metabolism*


  • Thiazines
  • Xylazine