November 13-19, 2017 is U.S Antibiotic Awareness Week. Here at Golden Gate Veterinary Compounding Pharmacy, we understand the delicate balance that veterinarians must go through to ensure proper treatment of infectious diseases for their current patients, while also protecting treatment options for their future patients, and avoiding the development of drug resistance and “super bugs.”

Antibiotic stewardship is defined by the Infectious Diseases Society of America as “coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure the appropriate use of antimicrobials by promoting the selection of the optimal antimicrobial drug regimen, dose, duration of therapy, and route of administration”¹. The IDSA, CDC, and FDA all strongly recognize the growing epidemic that is antibiotic resistance and, on the human side of things, great strides have been made to combat the estimated 2 million annual infections caused by antibiotic-resistant organisms, which lead to approximately 23,000 deaths each year. Without concerted efforts, both in human and veterinary medicine, aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance, our treatment options may rapidly dwindle.

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has provided a set of key initiatives for antimicrobial stewardship, which can be found at www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AntimicrobialResistance/JudiciousUseofAntimicrobials/ucm535158.htm. These initiatives include the alignment of antimicrobial drug products with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings, supporting efforts to foster stewardship of antimicrobials in veterinary settings, and assessing the impact of strategies intended to curb the emergence of antimicrobial resistance associated with antimicrobial drug use in veterinary settings. In your own practice, you can make efforts to help these organizations in combating antibiotic resistance by practicing safe and intelligent antibiotic use, only using antibiotics when necessary to treat, control, or prevent disease and, when using antibiotics, streamlining therapy whenever able. It is a difficult balancing act, providing adequate care for your current patients, while being mindful of how the decisions affect future cases. Our pharmacists at GGVCP can help with these efforts by providing guidance on the safe and judicious use of antimicrobials, and assisting in the care of both current and future patients alike.

If you are interested in learning more about antibiotic stewardship programs, including information on how to start one in your own practice, check out the links below, or give one of our pharmacists a call.

Helpful Resources:

FDA’s CVM Key Initiatives for Antimicrobial Stewardship. https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AntimicrobialResistance/JudiciousUseofAntimicrobials/ucm535158.htm

CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs. https://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/healthcare/implementation/core-elements.html

References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 Atlanta, GA: CDC;2013.

Medicine, C. F. (n.d.). Judicious Use of Antimicrobials - FDA's CVM Key Initiatives for Antimicrobial Stewardship. Retrieved October 27, 2017,from https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AntimicrobialResistance/JudiciousUseofAntimicrobials/ucm535158.htm

Promoting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Human Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2017, from http://www.idsociety.org/stewardship_policy/