Bell, E. T., Devi, J. L., Chiu, S., Zahra, P., Whittem, T. The pharmacokinetics of pimobendan enantiomers after oral and intravenous administration of racemate pimobendan formulations in healthy dogs. J. vet. Pharmacol. Therap.39, 54–61.
Pimobendan is a benzimidazole-pyridazinone derivative, marketed as a racemic mixture for the management of canine heart failure. Pharmacokinetics of the enantiomers of pimobendan and its oral bioavailability have not been described in dogs. The aim of this study was to describe pharmacokinetics of three formulations of pimobendan in healthy dogs: the licensed capsule product, and novel liquid and intravenous formulations. A three-period, nested randomized two-treatment crossover design was used. Pimobendan was administered p.o. at 0.25 and i.v. at 0.125 mg/kg. Blood and plasma samples were analysed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Noncompartmental modelling was used to describe the pharmacokinetics. Parameters were compared between formulations using a general linear model. Bioequivalence of the oral formulations was tested using CI90 for AUC(0–∞) and Cmax. Bioavailability of pimobendan after oral dosing was 70%. Liquid and capsule formulations were bioequivalent only for AUC. The positive enantiomer of pimobendan (PE) had a larger volume of distribution than the negative enantiomer (NE) (281 ± 48 vs. 215 ± 68 mL/kg; P = 0.003) and a shorter half-life (21.7 vs. 29.9 min; P = 0.004). The NE was distributed more quickly than the PE into blood cells. Enantiomers of pimobendan have differing absorption, distribution and elimination. The pharmacokinetics of pimobendan in healthy dogs was described.