Technical note: Effects of rumen passage on fluoxetine bioavailability in serum and effects of fluoxetine on serum prolactin concentration and demeanor in ewes

D. T. Yates, G. L. Strosser, P. L. Black, R. A. Halalsheh, L. M. Lankford, L. L. Hernandez, C. A. Löest, T. T. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Sheep are becoming increasingly important in medical research. The objective of the present study was to identify changes in bioactivity of fluoxetine during ruminal passage in ewes, and to examine the effects of fluoxetine administration on demeanor and serum prolactin concentration. Twelve mature ewes were administered saline (control), daily oral fluoxetine (40 mg), or alternate-day oral fluoxetine for 10 d. Four additional ewes were fitted with rumen cannulas and administered daily fluoxetine by abomasal deposition. Serum samples were collected daily for 15 d. Serum fluoxetine concentrations (ELISA) were greater (P < 0.001) in ewes in all fluoxetine treatments compared with controls on d 2. Serum fluoxetine concentrations in ewes receiving daily abomasal dosages were greater (P < 0.007) than those in controls on d 2 to 12 and were greater than those in ewes receiving daily or alternate- day oral fluoxetine on d 3 to 12. Serum prolactin concentration (RIA) did not differ (P = 0.137) among treatments and was only weakly correlated with serum fluoxetine concentration (r = 0.20, P = 0.041), and regression analysis revealed that very little variation in serum prolactin concentration was due to serum fluoxetine concentration (R2 = 0.04, P = 0.082). Demeanor ratings on d 1 to 12 remained at normal in all treatment groups (P > 0.362). However, in ewes that had received an abomasal dosage of fluoxetine, demeanor scores decreased (P < 0.029) on d 13 and 14 before returning to normal on d 15 (P = 0.397). This study indicates that mature ewes may provide a suitable model for the study of fluoxetine, but that a larger oral dosage may be required relative to the human dosage to overcome partial loss of bioactivity during ruminal passage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3611-3616
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2010



  • Ewe
  • Fluoxetine
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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