Date: 23 Feb 2010

Drug Delivery Systems in Domestic Animal Species

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Delivery of biologically active agents to animals is often perceived to be the poor relation of human drug delivery. Yet this field has a long and successful history of species-specific device and formulation development, ranging from simple approaches and devices used in production animals to more sophisticated formulations and approaches for a wide range of species. While several technologies using biodegradable polymers have been successfully marketed in a range of veterinary and human products, the transfer of delivery technologies has not been similarly applied across species. This may be due to a combination of specific technical requirements for use of devices in different species, inter-species pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and physiological differences, and distinct market drivers for drug classes used in companion and food-producing animals. This chapter reviews selected commercialised and research-based parenteral and non-parenteral veterinary drug delivery technologies in selected domestic species. Emphasis is also placed on the impact of endogenous drug transporters on drug distribution characteristics in different species. In vitro models used to investigate carrier-dependent transport are reviewed. Species-specific expression of transporters in several tissues can account for inter-animal or inter-species pharmacokinetic variability, lack of predictability of drug efficacy, and potential drug–drug interactions.