Are You Ready? All Antibiotics will be Prescription-only in 2023

Dr. Sandy Stuttgen, DVM US-Madison Division of Extension, Taylor County
(Previously published in Ohio Farmer: August 4, 2022)

The Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine’s plan for supporting veterinary antimicrobial stewardship will be fully implemented in 2023 when all remaining over-the-counter antibiotics are switched to prescription-only status.

The medically important antibiotics (used by humans and animals) becoming prescription-only include injectable tylosin, injectable and intramammary penicillin, injectable and oral tetracycline, sulfadimethoxine and sulfamethazine, and cephapirin and cephapirin benzathine intramammary tubes. In addition, the OTC status of the swine antibiotics lincomycin and gentamicin is switching to prescription-only.

Vaccines, dewormers, injectable and oral nutritional supplements, ionophores, pro/prebiotics and topical non-antibiotic treatments will not require veterinary prescription.

The Center for Veterinary Medicine evaluates the safety of drugs used in food-producing animals, the impact drug resides have on human intestinal microflora, and the development of human antimicrobial resistance. Drug residues in meat, milk, eggs and honey from treated animals expose bacteria to trace amounts that don’t kill them, but rather allow for the development of antibiotic resistance. Veterinarians are tasked to slow the rate of bacterial resistance by using antibiotics only when necessary to treat, control or prevent disease. Doing so preserves antibiotic efficacy for humans and animals. Continue reading