We have recently heard from veterinarians with concerns about the availability of doxycycline. While drug availability issues can be challenging, there are ways you can minimize their impact, including staying up to date on drug availability while also considering other therapeutic options. To our knowledge, there are certain doxycycline products available for purchase through regular distribution channels, but an inadequate supply to meet the increased demand for product is partly responsible for the lack of availability and increased cost of the drug. Resources that can help you stay up to date on doxycycline availability include FDA Drug Shortages and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists websites.
In some situations, drug products other than doxycycline might be efficacious against certain infectious agents. The American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics maintains a set of USP Clinical Veterinary Drug Information Monographs, a resource that might be helpful in identifying possible alternatives. Also, recognizing the need for doxycycline to treat various infectious diseases, there are expert resources available for veterinarians that could assist in identifying various options, for example, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine’s Consensus Statements, including one on Leptospirosis.
You should know that if you are contemplating use of a compound as an alternative to treat your patient’s medical condition, both federal rules on extralabel drug use and state rules (see our state resources, and contact your state board of pharmacy) should be a part of your decision making process. Also see our compounding webpage for more. The AVMA has no regulatory authority. We continue our federal advocacy for veterinarians’ ability to legally compound in medically necessary situations, particularly recognizing the critical needs in non-food animals.
Remember that the AVMA’s NOAH Discussion Groups provide an opportunity to interact with your colleagues about clinical and other veterinary topics. In the meantime, we will keep you posted as we gain any information on doxycycline availability.