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water-administered antibiotics


VFD rule applies to water-administered antibiotics on FDA’s medically important list

The updated veterinary feed directive rule requires that a VFD be issued for all medically important antibiotics administered in feed to poultry and livestock, but it also affects medically important water-administered antibiotics, which will require a veterinary prescription for legal use in food animals.

One question posed is whether water administered antibiotics that aren’t technically water-soluble are affected. The answer is “Yes” if the antibiotic is on the FDA list of medically important antibiotics.[1]

One example of a product used in swine and other species that will be affected is Neomycin Oral Solution, which contains neomycin sulfate and is indicated for treatment and control of bacterial enteritis due to Escherichia coli. It’s transitioning from an over-the-counter product to a VFD medication as of January 1, 2017 because neomycin sulfate is one of the antibiotics on the FDA’s medically important list.




[1] Personal communication between Aubrey Schroeder, Regulatory Affairs, Zoetis, and Center for Veterinary Medicine, April 12, 2015.

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