A certain class of antimicrobial drugs called cephalosporin is mostly used for treating infections in livestock. However, the FDA team has now issued an order prohibiting the use of the drug in cattle as an initiative to preserve the medications for human illnesses and companion animals.

Cephalosporins are usually used for the treatment of pneumonia and skin or soft tissue infections in humans. Moreover, they are also used as a therapeutic option for pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infections and diabetic foot infections. If these drugs are not used for treatment, then professionals may have to rely on other invasive drugs that are not equally effective and produce side effects.

Seeking to the comply with this aspect, the team has called for prohibition of unapproved or extralabel use of cephalosporins in animals like chicken, turkeys, swine and other food producing cattle. As per the orders issued by the officials, these drugs cannot be used at unapproved dosages, time frames, frequencies and avenues of administration.

“We believe this is an imperative step in preserving the effectiveness of this class of important antimicrobials that takes into account the need to protect the health of both humans and animals,” quoted Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

Secondly, use of the antimicrobial drugs for species of animals not included in the approved set of companion animals was restrained. Its use as a preventive measure for diseases has also been rejected by the team.

The scientists have urged that even if cephalosporins are used in cattle, they have to be in the limit of the approved dosages and frequencies. Also, use of an older form of cephalosporin that is not very advantageous in terms of bacterial resistance has not been restricted in any way.

This order essentially seeks to protect the cephalosporin class of antimicrobial drugs for humans as well as animals. This decision will be implemented from April 5, 2012.