BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A new federal rule for antibiotics goes into effect in June for Louisiana and the rest of the U.S.
According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, starting June 11, over-the-counter antibiotics for livestock will require a prescription as a new rule from the Food and Drug Administration. This includes animals intended for food production and domestic animals such as dogs, cats, backyard poultry and pet rabbits.
The FDA recommends that certain antimicrobial drugs that were available over the counter should need a veterinarian’s approval. The vet can provide a prescription or sell the medicine directly.
According to the FDA, the goal is to increase “support antimicrobial stewardship and slow the development of antimicrobial resistance.” Overusing antibiotics in people and the food supply can make certain bacteria harder to treat over time.
By June 11, the labels of over-the-counter antibiotics for livestock will require a caution that reads, “Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian,” and the purchaser must have a prescription from a veterinarian.
In 2017, over-the-counter antibiotics used in animal food were moved to the federal Veterinary Feed Directive, which allowed veterinarians to watch the antimicrobial use in animal food. Meds put in the drinking supply also were moved under vet oversight.
The products affected now are “injectables, intramammary preparations, and oral boluses,” according to the LDAF news release.
The FDA also has published a full list of prescription-only medications.
Feed stores can keep selling current supplies over the counter until they run out.
LDAF does not recommend buying extras before the change because of expiration dates and storage requirements.