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e-CFR data is current as of August 7, 2020

Title 21Chapter ISubchapter EPart 500Subpart B → §500.27

Title 21: Food and Drugs
Subpart B—Specific Administrative Rulings and Decisions

§500.27   Methylene blue-containing drugs for use in animals.

(a) New information requires a re- evaluation of the status of drugs containing methylene blue (tetramethylthionine chloride) for oral use in cats or dogs.

(1)(i) It has been demonstrated that two orally administered urinary antiseptic-antispasmodic preparations that contained methylene blue cause Heinz body hemolytic anemia in cats when used according to label directions. The specific cause of the reaction was determined to be the methylene blue contained in the preparations. The reaction can be severe enough to cause death of treated animals.

(ii) The Heinz body hemolytic anemia reaction to methylene blue has also been demonstrated in dogs under laboratory conditions. The precise mechanism by which methylene blue produces the characteristic erythrocytic inclusion bodies (Heinz bodies) and associated hemolytic anemia is unclear.

(2) The effectiveness of orally administered methylene blue as a urinary antiseptic is open to question. It appears that following oral administration, methylene blue is poorly and erratically absorbed and also slowly and erratically excreted in the urine. Studies in the dog indicate it is excreted in the urine essentially as leukomethylene blue stabilized in some manner. Methylene blue itself is stepwise demethylated in alkaline solutions (alkaline urine being a frequent consequence of urinary infection) to Azure B, Azure A, and Azure C. The antiseptic efficacy of all of these excretion products is unsubstantiated.

(3) In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner has concluded that animal drugs containing methylene blue for oral use in cats or dogs are neither safe nor generally recognized as effective within the meaning of section 201(v) of the act and are therefore considered new animal drugs. Accordingly, all prior formal and informal opinions expressed by the Food and Drug Administration that such drugs are “not new drugs” or “no longer new drugs” are hereby revoked.

(b) Animal drugs that contain methylene blue for oral use in cats or dogs and not the subject of an approved new animal drug application (NADA) are deemed to be adulterated under the provisions of section 501(a) (5) and/or (6) and/or misbranded under section 502(a) of the act and subject to regulatory action as of April 10, 1978.

(c) Sponsors of animal drugs that contain methylene blue for oral use in cats or dogs and not the subject of an approved new animal drug application (NADA) may submit an application in conformity with §514.1 of this chapter. Such applications will be processed in accordance with section 512 of the act. Submission of an NADA will not constitute grounds for continued marketing of this drug substance until such application is approved.

(d) New animal drug applications required by this regulation pursuant to section 512 of the act shall be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. Center for Veterinary Medicine, Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation (HFV-100), 7500 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855.

[43 FR 9803, Mar. 10, 1978; 43 FR 12310, Mar. 24, 1978, as amended at 54 FR 18279, Apr. 28, 1989; 57 FR 6475, Feb. 25, 1992; 60 FR 38480, July 27, 1995]

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