Veterinary Medicines

Lee Cook, Department of Primary Industries

Supplying anabolic steroids for greyhounds

Greyhounds Australasia (GA)(the national greyhound racing body) advised in a press release dated 24 April 2008 that from 1 June 2008 Australian greyhounds will be tested for the presence of illegal injectable steroids (including testosterone used for the purpose of oestrus suppression). The NSW Greyhound and Harness Racing Regulatory Authority (GHRRA) is to commence testing in NSW from 1 July 2008. GA have indicated that oral Nitrotain® and Nandoral® (both containing ethyloestrenol) are the only products they consider acceptable for the purpose of oestrus suppression.

It appears that Nandoral® may still be in short supply. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has issued a permit, PER10834, to allow Nature Vet to supply unregistered OESTROTAIN Anabolic Tablets for Greyhounds.

Order 1998/1 under the NSW Stock Medicines Act 1989 restricts the supply by veterinarians only of injectable steroids.

Veterinarians may supply these oral products to clients with the same restrictions that apply to all prescription-only (Schedule 4) products. Since these products are not registered for the purpose of oestrus suppression supplying veterinarians must ensure they comply with the requirements for provision to clients of written instructions for off-label use and full record-keeping (as for all S4s).

All veterinarians should ensure they meet the GHRRA rules in supplying or using these products. Questions should be directed to the GHRRA stewards (telephone (02) 9722 6644).

Baycox® registered for cattle

Cattle practitioners are probably already aware that Baycox Cattle Coccidiocide (toltrazuril) was registered in January. This does not mean it can now be used off-label in sheep.

In order for it to be used in lambs/sheep there would need to be an official Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) set for the residues in sheep tissue and no such MRL exists. Even in calves there are still relatively high residues after the 56 day label withholding period (WHP) but an MRL has been set to cover this. Only if a prescribing veterinarian can supply a WHP sufficiently long to ensure that no detectable residue remains should they recommend its use off-label for lambs/sheep or other meat producing animals. Data may not be available for that purpose. All off-label veterinary advice must be provided in writing to clients.

Injectable methocarbamol permit

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has issued a permit to Troy Laboratories allow them to supply an unregistered injectable version of methocarbamol. PER10530, a copy of which can be obtained from the APVMA web site at www.apvma.gov.au, provides all necessary details in relation to obtaining and using this product.

Meloxicam paste

Another permit, PER10808, has been issued for the supply by Troy Laboratories of an oral suspension of Meloxicam for use in foals.

Custom autogenous vaccines

There are a couple of companies which hold permits to make autogenous vaccines for veterinarians. Two recent permits (PER 11036 and 11037) allow Allied Biotechnology at Kings Park to make vaccines for Erysipelothrix and Pythium spp (in horses). See the APVMA web site above for copies. Unless covered by such a permit autogenous vaccines for use in food producing species are not legal.

Guide to Poisons Legislation - dispensing labels

The above guide, mentioned in the last issue of Board Talk, has now been updated by NSW Health. The new version, TG74/11, is now available on their web site at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/PublicHealth/Pharmaceutical/pdf/poisons_veterinary.pdf.

Note that it reiterates that dispensing labels are required on all containers of dispensed products (including those supplied in the original manufacturer's packaging) no matter how many are supplied.

Disposing of unwanted S8 drugs

Clause 126 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 now allows a pharmacist to destroy unwanted S8 (Controlled) drugs on behalf of a "relevant practitioner" - which includes a veterinarian. They must do so in the presence of the practitioner and note the destruction in the practitioner's drug register.

If practitioners have expired/unwanted S8 drugs they can therefore contact their friendly local pharmacist to find out if they will do this for them. Otherwise such products may only be destroyed by a police officer or an inspector from NSW Health (Pharmaceutical Services Branch).

Name change - frusemide

As part of an international process to standardise the names of common medical chemicals, the Australian Approved Name for frusemide is now officially furosemide. Other such changes will follow.

Permethrin poisoning in cats

Richard Malik from Sydney University is seeking information on cases of permethrin poisoning following off-label treatment of cats with dog spot-on products. Numerous fatalities have followed this practice. He has a survey which should not take long to complete at: http://www.pgf.edu.au/open/CVEPermethrinSurveyCT252_web.pdf.

For further information please contact:

Professor Richard Malik, CVE, Level 2, B22, Veterinary Science Conference Centre,
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Fax: +612 9351 7968 (attention Richard Malik) OR E-mail: R.Malik@vetc.usyd.edu.au

Items submitted by:

Lee G Cook
Veterinary Officer
Biological and Chemical Risk Management
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Locked Bag 21 / 161 Kite Street ORANGE NSW 2800
Phone: 02 6391 3722 Fax: 02 6391 3740
e-mail: lee.cook@dpi.nsw.gov.au