FDA Curbs Livestock Antibiotics

The agency has limited the use of antibiotics in farm animals.

By | January 6, 2012

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, TITANIUM22

The US Food and Drug Administration announced this week (January 2) that a certain class of antibiotics should only be used in farm animals under limited circumstances because of its likely contribution to antibiotic resistance in humans. The drugs, known as cephalosporins, are frequently used to treat pneumonia, strep throat, and urinary tract infections in humans. Cephalosporins require a prescription, and are often injected into chicken eggs to prevent infection, and administered directly to treat illness in cattle and pigs.

But widespread agricultural use has led to antibiotic resistance that doctors say has cost thousands of lives, The New York Times reported. Another class of drugs, fluoroquinolones, which includes the drug Ciprofloxacin, was banned for use in livestock 10 years ago. Still, more antibiotics are used in animals than in humans in the United States.

The new restrictions apply to routine injection of the drugs into eggs and long, high-dosages of the drugs given directly to pigs and cows to treat illness, but still allow veterinarians to treat some sick animals with the medicine. The FDA proposed more restrictive rules in 2008 but retracted them after outcry from veterinarians, farmers, and pharmaceutical companies.

The popular antibiotics tetracyclines and penicillins do not require a prescription and are allowed in feed and water.

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Avatar of: Lucky_P

Lucky_P

Posts: 1

January 6, 2012

Europe has taken the lead in removing antibiotic
availability to the livestock industry.  Yet, they still
have human antibiotic resistant issues equal to those we see in the USA. Use/misuse of of antimicrobial agents in livestock production likely has no more - and possibly less - involvement in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of human pathogens than does overprescription of antibiotics by physicians and lack of patient compliance in utilizing  prescribed antimicrobials - such as, when physicians prescribe antibiotics for minor viral infections, such as the common cold, upon which they have no effect; and in cases in which the patient stops taking the antibiotic before completing the entirety of the prescribed course of treatment - or, giving 'leftover' antibiotic medications to friends/family members when they have 'an infection'.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 6, 2012

Europe has taken the lead in removing antibiotic
availability to the livestock industry.  Yet, they still
have human antibiotic resistant issues equal to those we see in the USA. Use/misuse of of antimicrobial agents in livestock production likely has no more - and possibly less - involvement in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of human pathogens than does overprescription of antibiotics by physicians and lack of patient compliance in utilizing  prescribed antimicrobials - such as, when physicians prescribe antibiotics for minor viral infections, such as the common cold, upon which they have no effect; and in cases in which the patient stops taking the antibiotic before completing the entirety of the prescribed course of treatment - or, giving 'leftover' antibiotic medications to friends/family members when they have 'an infection'.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

January 6, 2012

Europe has taken the lead in removing antibiotic
availability to the livestock industry.  Yet, they still
have human antibiotic resistant issues equal to those we see in the USA. Use/misuse of of antimicrobial agents in livestock production likely has no more - and possibly less - involvement in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of human pathogens than does overprescription of antibiotics by physicians and lack of patient compliance in utilizing  prescribed antimicrobials - such as, when physicians prescribe antibiotics for minor viral infections, such as the common cold, upon which they have no effect; and in cases in which the patient stops taking the antibiotic before completing the entirety of the prescribed course of treatment - or, giving 'leftover' antibiotic medications to friends/family members when they have 'an infection'.

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