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Updated Advice on Lidocaine for Pain Relief in Pigs

14 April 2014, at 8:46am

US - The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) has provided further information on the use of lidocaine for pain relief in pigs.

Since the AASV article discussing this topic appeared in e-Letter (Pain Mitigation on 26 March), Harry Snelson reports that there have been a couple of significant events that he wants to bring to your attention.

First, AASV received a letter from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirming that the extra-label use of FDA approved drugs under the regulations set forth in the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA) to alleviate pain associated with surgical procedures such as castration and tail docking is acceptable. This letter was in response to a request to the agency from Dr Liz Wagstrom, Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

In addition, Dr Craig Lewis from FDA gave a presentation during the Animal Care Committee meeting at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture Annual meeting on the legal use of drugs in food animals for pain mitigation. AASV has posted his presentation on the AASV web site for your reference. Dr Lewis identifies common products associated with pain mitigation and discusses whether or not they could be used legally for pain control in food-producing animals.

Lidocaine is commonly suggested as a drug that possibly could be used in an extra-label manner to alleviate pain resulting from surgical procedures in food-producing animals. FDA agrees but notes that lidocaine is not approved for veterinary use.

Therefore, only the lidocaine approved for human use can legally be prescribed under AMDUCA for extra-label use in food animals.

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