Elephant Formulary

© 2003-06 Susan K. Mikota DVM and Donald C. Plumb, Pharm.D.
Published by Elephant Care International - www.elephantcare.org










Determining appropriate drug doses for elephants is challenging.  Relatively few pharmacokinetic studies have been conducted to provide elephant-specific information.  Veterinarians therefore typically determine elephant drug doses using information available from other species. The horse is the most commonly used model.  Some veterinarians use metabolic scaling formulas.


The purpose of this Formulary is to compile drug information pertinent to elephants in one place that is readily accessible globally and in a format that can be easily updated.


The Elephant Formulary was created in conjunction with Donald C. Plumb, Pharm D., author of the Veterinary Drug Handbook (Iowa State University Press).  Donald’s extensive work provides the basis for The Elephant Formulary.  The original work has been edited to include only those drugs with known or potential application to elephants.  For most drugs only the equine doses have been retained.  Ruminant and selected monogastric doses have been retained in a few cases where a drug offers a potential application to elephants but lacks an equine reference.  The original text has been retained as effects observed in other species may be pertinent to elephants.


Elephant specific information, derived primarily from published literature, has been added to existing drug monographs.  Drugs used in elephants that did not appear in the original work have been added.  Anecdotal information has been included as this remains a valuable source of information.  In both cases, information sources are cited. 

Many abstracts have been included to provide additional information.


The elephant doses are reported in the format in which they appear in the original source.  If information is missing, e.g. route of administration, it is likely absent from the original publication.


While a sincere effort has been expounded to assure that the dosages and information included in this book are correct, errors may occur and it is suggested that the reader refer to the original reference or the approved labeling information of the product for additional information. The Federal Drug Agency (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine has an excellent web site.  It is located at: http://www.fda.gov/cvm

The authors/publisher assume no responsibility for and make no warranty with respect to results that may be obtained from the uses, procedures, or dosages listed and do not necessarily endorse such uses, procedures, or dosages.  The authors/publisher shall not be liable to any person whatsoever for any damages, or equivalencies, or by reason of any misstatement or error, negligent or otherwise obtained in this work. 


In addition to the abbreviations used in writing prescriptions (e.g., tid, q8h, etc.—see the abbreviation list in the appendix), the terms OTC or Rx are found in parentheses after a listed dosage form.  “Rx” indicates that the drug is considered to be a prescription or legend product, and requires a prescription.  “OTC” denotes that the item is available “over-the-counter” and does not require a prescription for purchase (in the United States).

The Elephant Formulary is a living document that will expand our knowledge of elephant pharmacology and will enable us to better care for this remarkable species.  We welcome comments, suggestions, and contributions.

We particularly invite our international colleagues to contribute information regarding drugs available in their respective countries.  When contributing to the Formulary please follow the format used for the Drug Monographs.  Contributions must include published references or names and contact information for anecdotal information and be as complete as possible.  Information about natural remedies is welcome as are reports of adverse drug reactions.  Questions of immediate concern can be posted on our Forum


Questions, contributions, contact: 

Susan K. Mikota DVM




COPYRIGHT © 2003 by Donald C. Plumb and Susan K. Mikota


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Elephant Care International

Joel Maslow MD PhD
Chief, Infectious Diseases
VA Medical Center
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Phila PA  19104


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