Animal & Veterinary

Judicious Use Principles

There are 15 general principles of judicious use developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association which emphasize preventive actions to avoid disease, suggest other options before choosing to use antimicrobials, or the use of drugs, when possible, that are less important to human and animal needs.  The principles are:

  1. Preventive strategies, such as appropriate husbandry and hygiene, routine health monitoring, and immunizations, should be emphasized.
  2. Other therapeutic options should be considered prior to antimicrobial therapy.
  3. Judicious use of antimicrobials, when under the direction of a veterinarian, should meet all the requirements of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
  4. Prescription, Veterinary Feed Directive, and extralabel use of antimicrobials must meet all the requirements of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
  5. Extralabel antimicrobial therapy must be prescribed only in accordance with the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (AMDUCA) and its regulations.
  6. Veterinarians should work with those responsible for the care of animals to use antimicrobials judiciously regardless of the distribution system through which the antimicrobial was obtained.
  7. Regimens for therapeutic antimicrobial use should be optimized using current pharmacological information and principles.
  8. Antimicrobials considered important in treating refractory infections in human or veterinary medicine should be used in animals only after careful review and reasonable justification. Consider using other antimicrobials for initial therapy.
  9. Use narrow spectrum antimicrobials whenever appropriate.
  10. Utilize culture and susceptibility results to aid in the selection of antimicrobials when clinically relevant.
  11. Therapeutic antimicrobial use should be confined to appropriate clinical indications. Inappropriate uses such as for uncomplicated viral infections should be avoided.
  12. Therapeutic exposure to antimicrobials should be minimized by treating only for as long as needed for the desired clinical response.
  13. Limit therapeutic antimicrobial treatment to ill or at risk animals, treating the fewest animals indicated.
  14. Minimize environmental contamination with antimicrobials whenever possible.
  15. Accurate records of treatment and outcome should be used to evaluate therapeutic regimens.

Page Last Updated: 06/13/2014
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