Help your clients safely use injectable veterinary products

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Advising clients regarding safe handling and use of injectable products is important. Basic precautionary measures can ensure human and animal safety throughout the production system. David McClary, DVM, MS and Elanco technical consultant, advises on safety procedures and provides updates on safe use of Elanco products. “Safety is everyone’s responsibility and employing common safety measures is good for workers, animals, the food chain and the environment,” said McClary.

What basic safety measures should clients be reminded of when handling injectable products?

Worker safety should always be a consideration for those handling injectable products. Simple practices like never working alone, making sure animals are properly restrained prior to treatment, keeping needles covered until administration of injectable products, and transporting and handling loaded syringes carefully can reduce the risk of an accident or injury. Additionally, being aware of the surrounding environment and keeping children and bystanders out of the work area helps keep everyone safe. 

What role does animal restraint play in the safety of injectable products?

Animals should always be restrained before administration of any treatment. An animal that is not properly restrained may move in an unpredictable way that could catch workers off guard or endanger them. Proper restraint depends on the size and temperament of the animal being treated.  For medium-size to large cattle, proper animal restraint includes use of a functional squeeze chute, headgate, headlock or similar device. Each operation is unique and the best-fit solutions come from your working experience with clients to determine the appropriate animal restraint for their operation considering the individual’s ability and, especially, the types of animals being handled. 

What are the new safety recommendations for the use of Micotil® (tilmicosin injection)?

We recommend that Micotil be stored in a secure location to prevent the risk of misuse by humans. Recommended storage includes a lockable cabinet or container or a secure storage room depending on the amount of product in inventory. It is a good practice to work with your clients to define a secure storage location prior to dispensing Micotil. Additionally, keep all full or partially full Micotil bottles securely stored when not in use. Empty bottles, used syringes and needles should be discarded where they are not accessible to children and the general public. Micotil should be available only to individuals trained in safe handling and use procedures.

What actions should be taken if an accidental exposure to Micotil occurs?

If accidental exposure occurs seek immediate medical attention:

  • REACH for and apply an ice pack
  • REFERENCE product label “Note To The Physician” and/or product insert and provide to doctor
  • REMEMBER to contact Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center at 1-800-722-0987 or Eli Lilly and Co. at 1-800-428-4441 (select the option for human exposure)

What tools are available for advising clients of basic safety practices?

New and updated client safety tools for injectable products can be ordered from Elanco at no charge. Safe-use tools include English and Spanish Safe Handling and Use videos, English and Spanish dose and administration posters for placement near treatment facilities, a SAFE Guidelines detailer and a SAFE Guidelines statement stuffer. A safety syringe, which provides enhanced user safety when administering Micotil, is also available.

What can you tell us about the “flex dose syringe” Elanco provides and its safety features?

The “flex dose syringe” or Sekurus™ syringe was developed by Simcro™ and includes enhanced user safety features. The two-stage activated syringe features a patented needle-guard that allows for a one-handed, self-tenting subcutaneous injection, which reduces the risk of an accidental self-injection. To be activated, the trigger must be pulled, which allows retraction of the needle-guard when the nose of the syringe is pushed against the animal for product administration. Individuals using the safety syringe should practice caution when removing needles to avoid an accidental exposure, and immediately discontinue use if the syringe is broken or damaged in any way.

Currently, the syringe is available through any Elanco sales representative. Changes in the distribution process will make the syringe even more widely available this fall.

Visit the Safe Handling and Use page on www.elanco.us for more information.

Important Safety Information

See label for complete use information, including boxed human warnings and non-target species safety information. Micotil is to be used by, or on the order of, a licensed veterinarian. For cattle or sheep, inject subcutaneously. Intravenous use in cattle or sheep will be fatal. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Use in lactating dairy cattle or sheep may cause milk residues. The following adverse reactions have been reported: in cattle: injection site swelling and inflammation, lameness, collapse, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions, decreased food and water consumption, and death; in sheep: dyspnea and death. Always use proper drug handling procedures to avoid accidental self-injection. Do not use in automatically powered syringes. Consult your veterinarian on the safe handling and use of all injectable products prior to administration. Micotil has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 42 days.


Sekurus™ is a trademark of Simcro Limited.
Micotil® is a trademark for Elanco’s brand of tilmicosin injection.
© 2012 Elanco Animal Health.
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