Prescribing and dispensing antibiotics
What should veterinarians know?
Veterinarians have prescribing rights which come with significant responsibilities. Veterinarians:
- can help minimise the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by pausing and considering each antimicrobial prescription
- can consult the World Organisation for Animal Health list of antimicrobials of veterinary importance
- can consult the importance ratings and summary of antibacterial uses in humans in Australia—developed by the Australian Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on AMR (ASTAG). The ratings provide:
- guidance to clinicians about the importance of antibacterials available for human use in Australia
- guidance on antibacterials not used in Australia but which have the potential to select for cross resistance.
Provides guidance to clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry about the importance of antibacterial agents available for human use, and on the current ways in which antibacterials are used in humans in Australia.
What can veterinarians do?
- educate animal owners and producers about AMR
- consult relevant policies regarding the use of antimicrobials in veterinary practice:
- refer to relevant prescribing guidelines where appropriate:
- the University of Melbourne veterinary prescribing guidelines for companion animals, equines and bovines
- the AVA’s antibiotic prescribing guidelines for small animal practice
- base antibiotic prescriptions on culture and sensitivity findings, where possible
- use first line antibiotics where appropriate
- limit the use of antibiotics ranked highly important to human health (refer to the AVA guide on this).