Kinetic disposition of diazepam and its metabolites after intravenous administration of diazepam in the horse: Relevance for doping control

Publikationen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


  • Ina Schenk
  • Marc Machnik
  • Diane Broussou
  • Astrid Meuly
  • Béatrice B Roques
  • Elodie Lallemand
  • Michael Düe
  • Helma Röttgen
  • Henrike Lagershausen
  • Pierre-Louis Toutain
  • Mario Thevis



In horses, the benzodiazepine diazepam (DIA) is used as sedative for pre-medication or as an anxiolytic to facilitate horse examinations. As the sedative effects can also be abused for doping purposes, DIA is prohibited in equine sports. DIA is extensively metabolized to several active metabolites such as nordazepam, temazepam and oxazepam (OXA). For veterinarians, taking into account the detection times of DIA and its active metabolites is needed for minimizing the risk of an anti-doping rule violation. Therefore, a pharmacokinetic study on 6 horses was conducted using a single intravenous (IV) dose of 0.2 mg/kg DIA Plasma and urine samples were collected at specified intervals until 16 and 26 days post-administration, respectively. Samples were analysed by a sensitive liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry method. DIA showed a triphasic elimination pattern in the horse. The mean plasma clearance of DIA was 5.9 ml/min/kg, and the plasma elimination half-life in the terminal phase was 19.9 h. Applying the Toutain model approach, an effective plasma concentration of DIA was estimated at 24 ng/ml, and irrelevant plasma concentration (IPC) and irrelevant urine concentration (IUC) were computed to 0.047 and 0.1 ng/ml, respectively. The detection time according to the European Horserace Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC), that is the time for which observed DIA plasma concentrations of all investigated horses were below the IPC was 10 days. Using Monte Carlo Simulations, it was estimated that concentrations of DIA in plasma would fall below the IPC 18 days after the DIA administration for 90% of horses. However, in the present study, a single administration of DIA could be detected for 24 days in urine via the presence of OXA, its dominant metabolite.

ZeitschriftJournal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics
Seiten (von - bis)733-744
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 09.2021

Bibliographische Notiz

© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Ahead of print.

ID: 6052570


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