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McNair Scholars Program

Marissa Komp

She/her

Education: Bachelor of Science in life science (May 2020)

Currently pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health at Kansas State University

McNair Project: Multiple Dose Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Effects of Oral Methadone with Fluconazole in Dogs (2018)

MentorButch KuKanich, D.V.M. and Ph.D.

Because of the lack of oral opioid analgesics for dogs, there is a desire for a more effective medication for dogs to treat pain. Pain medication like tramadol, hydrocodone, and other opioids do not provide a long-lasting effect and lack consistent oral absorption in canines. These drugs have poor to variable effects in dogs and produce minimal durations of plasma concentrations. Injectable opioids are effective treatment for only about four hours and as such are not ideal. Because of the limitations of the current pain medication treatments for both acute and chronic pain in dogs, the use of methadone and fluconazole are being studied.

In this study, twelve Beagles were randomly assigned into two treatment groups with six dogs each. Oral capsules containing a fixed dose ratio of fluconazole, methadone and naltrexone were administered to both groups of dogs. Naltrexone was included to deter human drug abuse. Group 1 was administered doses approximately every 12 hours. Group 2 was treated with more frequent doses. Pharmacodynamic assessments included rectal and ocular temperatures, sedation scale scores, blood samples for plasma concentrations, and a mechanical stimulus (von Frey device).

All dogs tolerated both dosing regimens with variable sedation from none to moderate. Opioid induced decreases in body temperatures were significant, and the von Frey results were variable, but still showed a pattern of significant changes. The novel methadone formulation provided significant opioid effects in both groups and may be the first effective oral opioid formulation providing predictable analgesic effects in dogs.