Livestock Antibiotics Limits

More Over-the-Counter Limits on Antibiotics Coming

Livestock producers without a herd veterinarian will face additional limits in the future on purchases of over-the-counter antibiotics. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)

The FDA's timeline to continue putting all medically important antibiotics for livestock under veterinary oversight is coming up, and Craig Payne wants to be sure producers are preparing for the deadline.

Payne, a University of Missouri Extension veterinarian, referred producers to the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine's Guidance for Industry No. 263 (GFI #263), and reminded them that while the 2023 deadline may seem a long way off, it will require planning to make the transition less stressful.

According to Payne, products expected to be affected under GFI #263 include cephapirin, cephapirin benzathine, gentamicin, lincomycin, oxytetracycline, penicillin G procaine, penicillin G benzathine, sulfadimethoxine, sulfamethazine, tylosin. Products include injectables, boluses, and intramammary tubes. Many of these products went to a prescription-only basis in 2017, but those were mostly in forms used in feed or water.

One of the first steps producers can take to ease the transition is to be sure they have a current, valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) with a local herd health provider. This will be required for the veterinarian to issue a prescription for these antibiotics, which will no longer be available over the counter. A VCPR should ideally exist before there is a need for treatment, to ensure a timely response.

Payne stressed that while a prescription will be required for these products, that won't necessarily mean producers will have to be purchase through a veterinarian.

Link to the FDA Guidance 263 here:….