Author(s): Kluwe WM, Page JG, Toft JD, Ridder WE, Chung H
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Abstract Pyridostigmine bromide, a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor, was administered orally (capsule gavage) to beagle dogs (10-15 months of age) of both sexes once daily at 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg for 14 days; every 8 hr at 2 or 5 mg/kg for 28 days; or every 8 hr at 0.05, 0.5, or 2 mg/kg for 3 months as part of its preclinical safety assessment. A small portion of the dogs receiving pyridostigmine for 3 months were allowed an untreated recovery period of an additional 3 months. Daily doses of 10 or 20 mg/kg were lethal to some of the dogs when given for up to 14 days and caused severe intestinal distress, including diarrhea, emesis, and reddened feces in all animals. The cause of death was intestinal intussusception. Signs of systemic toxicity apparent at these doses included hypersalivation and tremors. Similar but less severe effects were produced by 5 mg/kg per day; plasma cholinesterase activities were inhibited by all three doses in a dose-related manner. Signs of toxicity in the 28-day and 3-month studies were generally limited to the gastrointestinal tract and included diarrhea or soft stools and reddened or mucoid-containing stools; these signs appeared to reverse upon discontinuation of the drug. A single dog at 2 mg/kg every 8 hr developed an apparent intussusception. There were no pathological changes in clinical chemistry, hematology, or urinalysis parameters associated with doses of 0.05, 0.5, or 2 mg/kg every 8 hr for up to 3 months, nor were any drug-related lesions observed upon gross necropsy and microscopic evaluation of the major tissues and organs. Red blood cell (RBC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in the 3-month study were inhibited by approximately 10, 50, and 70\% in the 0.05, 0.5, and 2 mg/kg every 8-hr dose groups, respectively, and these degrees of inhibition were maintained throughout the period of treatment. These data suggest that prolonged oral administration of pyridostigmine at doses sufficient to cause profound and sustained inhibition of RBC AChE activity (i.e., as high as 70\%) cause mainly local, gastrointestinal distress related to altered intestinal motility. At the extreme, this can be manifested as a life-threatening intestinal intussusception. Systemic anticholinesterase effects (other than enzyme inhibition) were observed only at doses of 2 mg/kg and greater, while local (gastrointestinal) effects and inhibition of RBC AChE were observed at doses as low as 0.05 mg/kg.
This article was published in Fundam Appl Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics