Updated May 8, 2014
Dear Aquaculture Professional:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind you that not all drugs currently marketed for food fish (fish that will enter the human food supply) are approved. And even if a marketed product has the same established name (active ingredient) as an FDA-approved drug, that doesn’t mean it’s also FDA-approved.
Please see the table below for a list of all FDA-approved fish drugs. If a product currently marketed for food fish isn't listed, it's not FDA-approved, and therefore, hasn’t been shown to be safe and effective in food fish. For example, only the four listed formalin products are approved by FDA for fish. Any other formalin-containing products marketed are not FDA-approved.
FDA rigorously evaluates an animal drug before approving it. As part of the approval process, the drug company must prove to FDA that:
- The drug is safe and effective for a specific use in a specific animal species. For food fish intended for human consumption, the drug company must also prove that food made from fish treated with the drug is safe for people to eat;
- The manufacturing process is adequate to preserve the drug’s identity, strength, quality, and purity; and
- The drug’s labeling is truthful and complete.
FDA’s role doesn’t stop after the agency approves an animal drug. As long as the drug company markets the animal drug, the agency continues to monitor the drug’s:
- Safety and effectiveness to determine if concerns arise that were unknown at the time of approval;
- Manufacturing process to ensure quality and consistency are maintained; and
- Labeling to make sure the information remains truthful and complete.
FDA-Approved Fish Drugs
|Trade Name (established name)1||Application Type & Number|
|Oxytetracycline HCl Soluble Powder-343|
|Terramycin-343 Soluble Powder|
|Aquaflor® Type A Medicated Article|
|Terramycin® 200 for Fish|
(sulfadimethoxine & ormetoprim)
|Sulfamerazine In Fish Grade|
More information about approved drugs for aquaculture.
Besides the approved drugs listed in this table, two drugs for ornamental fish are on the Index of Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drugs for Minor Species.
FDA-approved animal drugs are scientifically shown to be safe and effective when used according to the directions on the label. If the approved drugs are for food fish, food made from treated fish is safe for people to eat. FDA-approved animal drugs also meet the agency’s strict standards for quality, purity, and potency.
The Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at FDA is responsible for ensuring that safe and effective drugs are available for animals. If you have questions or would like more information, please call the CVM Communications Staff at 240-402-7002, or email us at AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov.
FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine