OBJECTIVE: To determine the pharmacokinetics of a single oral dose of trazodone and its effect on the activity of domestic pigeons (Columba livia).
ANIMALS: 6 healthy adult male domestic pigeons.
PROCEDURES: During the first of 3 experiments, birds received orally administered trazodone at doses ranging from 3 to 30 mg/kg to determine the dose for subsequent experiments. During the second experiment, each bird received 1 dose of trazodone (30 mg/kg, PO). Blood was collected for determination of plasma trazodone concentration before and at predetermined times for 24 hours after drug administration. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by noncompartmental analysis. During experiment 3, birds were instrumented with ultralightweight accelerometers and received orally administered trazodone (30 mg/kg) or an equal volume of water twice at a 48-hour interval. Activity of birds was monitored for 24 hours after administration of each treatment.
RESULTS: No adverse effects were observed. Mean ± SD terminal half-life of trazodone was 5.65 ± 1.75 hours. Plasma trazodone concentrations remained > 0.130 μg/mL for approximately 20 hours. Trazodone did not affect the activity of birds during the first 2 and 15 hours after administration.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested that oral administration of 1 dose (30 mg/kg) of trazodone to healthy pigeons was safe and resulted in plasma drug concentrations that were similar to those considered therapeutic in humans and dogs for up to 20 hours. Further research is necessary to characterize the pharmacokinetics for repeated doses as well as the clinical effects of trazodone in birds with behavior problems.