Pharmacologist: Even After It Is No Longer Measurable, Betamethasone Has Lingering Effects On Inflammation, Pain - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Pharmacologist: Even After It Is No Longer Measurable, Betamethasone Has Lingering Effects On Inflammation, Pain

Clinical pharmacologist Joseph S. Bertino, Jr. (PharmD, FCP, FCCP), the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, wrote a letter to the editor of the Thoroughbred Daily News this week which explored the science behind the drug betamethasone.

First, he explained how betamethasone works: “Inflammation occurs due to the animal's immune system working and its reaction to an injury. The drug acts to calm down the immune system to produce its effect.”

Bertino continued by describing why the drug does not work immediately after application, whether by injection or application as an ointment, instead taking at least several hours: “Many drugs do not dissolve well in water, so other molecules are added to them so that they can dissolve in water in order to make useful dosage forms […] The body removes these extra molecules added leaving the main drug to do its work.

“Betamethasone from any of these salts is the same in the animal's body; it's a potent drug used to reduce inflammation and pain and its effect is long lasting in any form.”

The drug has a long-lasting effect, Bertino wrote.

“Even when the drug is completely gone from the body, the effect remains for some time (hours or days) because it takes the immune system time to gear back up (and hopefully the injury is healed). So that means even if small amounts or no drug is found in the blood, the effect on inflammation and pain lingers after a dose.”

He reiterates: “Since the drug effect is long lasting (and lasts even after the drug concentration is low or no longer measurable in the blood), a significant effect on inflammation and pain may still be occurring.”

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

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