One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: FDA on Cephalosporin, Penicillin, and Tetracycline

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will ban the “extra-label” use of cephalosporin antibiotics in food animals—that is, veterinarians will not be permitted to use drugs in this class of antibiotics except in ways approved by FDA.  (A “drug class” refers to a group of drugs that work in similar ways.  Cephalosporins are members of the broad group of beta-lactam antibiotics, which includes penicillin drugs as well.  Beta-lactams kill bacteria in similar ways.) FDA’s announcement came almost two weeks after the agency said it would not restrict the use of the other group of beta-lactams, penicillins, as well as tetracyclines, two other drug classes on which it had contemplated taking action. In the span of just two weeks, then, FDA has moved to prevent misuse of one drug while shirking its responsibility for two others. One step forward, two steps back. Read More >