Fenbendazole pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and potentiation in horses
The present study was designed to describe the pharmacokinetics and fecal excretion of fenbendazole (FBZ) and fenbendazole sulphoxide (FBZSO) and their metabolites in horses, to investigate the effects which concurrent feeding has on the absorption and pharmacokinetics of FBZ, and to determine the effect of coadministration of the metabolic inhibitor piperonyl-butoxide on the in vivo pharmacokinetics and in vitro liver microsomal metabolism of sulfide and sulfoxide benzimidazoles. The effect of piperonyl-butoxide on the enantiomeric genesis of the sulfoxide moiety was also investigated. Following administration of FBZSO and FBZ, the fenbendazole sulphone metabolite predominated in plasma, and the C-max and area under the plasma curve (AUC) values for each moiety were larger (P < 0.001) following FBZSO than FBZ. In feces the administered parent molecule predominated. The combined AUC for active benzimidazole moieties following oral administration of FBZ (10 mg/kg) in horses was almost 4 times as high in unfed horses (2.19 μg.h/ml) than in fed horses (0.59 μg.h/ml), and coadministration of piperonyl-butoxide significantly increased the AUC and C-max of active moieties following intravenous administration of FBZSO and oral administration of FBZ. When FBZSO was administered i.v. as a racemate, the first enantiomer of oxfendazole (FBZSO-1) predominated in plasma, however, following coadministration with piperonyl-butoxide, the second enantiomer of oxfendazole (FBZSO-2) predominated for 10 h. Piperonyl-butoxide significantly reduced the oxidative metabolism of FBZSO and FBZ in equine liver microsomes and altered the ratio of enantiomers FBZSO-1/FBZSO-2 from >4:1 to 1:1. It is concluded that in horses efficacy of FBZSO and FBZ could be improved by administration to unfed animals and coadministration with piperonyl-butoxide.