Using, choosing and compounding veterinary medicines

How to choose or compound a veterinary medicine, use medicines with food-producing animals, authorise purchase of restricted veterinary medicines (RVMs), check conditions of use, and report a problem.

Choosing a veterinary medicine

When choosing a veterinary medicine, select the lowest risk option in the following order – where 1 has the lowest risk and 5 the highest:

  1. On-label use of a New Zealand-authorised veterinary product.
  2. Off-label use of a New Zealand-authorised veterinary product.
  3. Off-label use of a New Zealand-authorised (Medsafe) human medicine.
  4. Import an overseas product (vet medicine preferred but human product acceptable). You'll need to apply for special circumstances approval to import the product.
  5. Use of a compounded veterinary medicine.

Check the database for authorised/registered veterinary medicines:

Compounding veterinary medicines preparations

If you are compounding a veterinary medicine, you must follow a documented system.

Compounded veterinary medicine preparations: developing a documented system [PDF, 195 KB]

Animals used for food and veterinary medicines

Before using a vet medicine in a food-producing animal, check:

Conditions of use for veterinary medicines

Registered veterinary medicines all have conditions placed on their registration to manage risks. To find the conditions for a particular product, check the ACVM product register.

Search ACVM register for conditions of use of a veterinary medicine

Find out more:

Authorising purchase and use of vet medicines

A restricted veterinary medicine (RVM) has restrictions on its sale, purchase, and use.

As a vet, you can authorise purchase and use of RVMs if you have a current practising certificate issued by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ).

Requirements for vets recognised to authorise sale, purchase and use of restricted veterinary medicines (RVMs): requirements [PDF, 219 KB]

Follow our guidelines when you issue veterinary operating instructions for non-veterinarians to use:

  • RVMs (including for velvet antler removal)
  • veterinary medicines that are exempt from registration.

Operating insturctions for vets recognised to authorise sale, purchase and use of restricted veterinary medicines (RVMs) [PDF, 231 KB]

When something goes wrong (adverse event) with a veterinary medicine

Let us know if anything goes wrong (an adverse event) when using a registered vet medicine.

Last reviewed:
Has this been useful? Give us your feedback