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Open Access Voluntary Ingestion of Antiparasitic Drugs Emulsified in Honey Represents an Alternative to Gavage in Mice

The oral route is the most frequently used method of drug intake in humans. Oral administration of drugs to laboratory animals such as mice typically is achieved through gavage, in which a feeding needle is introduced into the esophagus and the drug is delivered directly into the stomach. This method requires technical skill, is stressful for animals, and introduces risk of injury, pain and morbidity. Here we investigated another method of drug administration. The benzimidazole derivative albendazole was emulsified in commercially available honey and administered to mice by voluntary feeding or gavage. Mice that received albendazole by either gavage or honey ingestion had virtually identical levels of serum albendazole sulfoxide, indicating that uptake and metabolism of albendazole was similar for both administration techniques. In addition, dosing mice with the albendazole–honey mixture for 8 wk had antiparasitic activity comparable to earlier studies using gavage for drug administration. Compared with gavage, voluntary ingestion of a drug in honey is more rapid, less stressful to the animal, and less technically demanding for the administrator. Because of its low cost and ready availability, honey presents a viable vehicle for drug delivery.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland 2: Institute for Clinical Pharmacology and Visceral Research, Berne, Switzerland 3: Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland. [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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