Terramycin for Dogs and Cats Returns

Unexplained issues that interrupted distribution of the eye ointment Terramycin beginning in 2012 apparently have been resolved.

Drug maker Zoetis Inc. has reintroduced the eye ointment Terramycin more than two years after supply issues curtailed distribution.

Terramycin (oxytetracycline hydrochloride) Ophthalmic Ointment with Polymyxin B Sulfate is indicated for the treatment of superficial ocular infection and bacterial inflammatory conditions in dogs and cats.

The topical antibiotic is not a steroid. It may be used to treat conjunctivitis, keratitis, corneal ulcer and bacterial inflammatory conditions, according to Zoetis.

Examiner.com reported in June 2012 that Zoetis’ predecessor, Pfizer Animal Health, suffered a “temporary interruption of supply” that at first was expected to last through 2012. The reason for the extended delay was not revealed.

Animal drug shortages are infrequent but may occur for a variety of reasons. Unavailable raw materials, unavailable packaging materials and marketing decisions are among the common causes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated.

Two popular drugs currently in short supply are Zoetis’ canine anti-itch medication Apoquel and Merial Ltd.’s Immiticide (melarsomine dihydrochloride), which is used to treat severe heartworm disease in dogs.

Zoetis, based in Florham Park, N.J., is working to expand production of Apoquel (oclacitinib tablet) and expects the shortage to end by April 2015. The FDA has allowed Merial to import limited quantities of Immiticide from Europe because of U.S. production problems.

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