Hold the cephalosporins.
In an order issued last month, the FDA said that by April it will prohibit unapproved uses of cephalosporins in cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys.
The order prohibits the use of cephalosporin drugs for disease prevention in food animals. Furthermore, only cephalosporin drugs that have been approved for use in cattle, swine, chickens, or turkeys are permitted for use in those species. The order also prohibits giving food animals cephalosporins at unapproved dose levels, frequencies, durations, or routes of administration. Cephalosporins that are intended for use in humans or companion animals are prohibited for use in food animals.
The decision comes more than 3 years after the agency revoked a July 2008 decision to prohibit without exception all "extralabel" uses of cephalosporins in food-producing animals. The agency revoked the original order after receiving; comments from approximately 170 organizations or individuals. According to the FDA, scientific review of those comments was fac-tored into the new order, which was greeted with support by physicians and groups concerned about the emergence of antibiotic resistance.
"Physicians must be able to rely on proven, safe, and effective medications to provide optimal care to their patients," Dr. Peter W Carmel, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement. "By taking this step, physicians can continue to have this class of antibiotics available to successfully fight bacterial meningitis and other serious infections."