Q: In late 2018, Zoetis reintroduced a feed medication for turkeys and broilers called RofenAid® 40. That product dates back to 1970. What prompted Zoetis to bring it back?
DR: Simply put, we saw a need for it — particularly in the turkey industry, which has lost several medications in recent years for managing enteric and respiratory diseases. RofenAid 40 (sulfadimethoxine plus ormetoprim) had been oﬀ the market since 2015 due to supply issues, but fortunately, those problems have since been resolved.
Q: Speciﬁcally, what is RofenAid 40 used for in turkeys?
DR: RofenAid 40 is a broad-spectrum coccidiostat and antibacterial that may be used in turkey poults to aid in the prevention of coccidiosis caused by Eimeria adenoeides, Eimeria gallopavonis and Eimeria meleagrimitis. It also is indicated to aid in prevention of bacterial infections caused by Pasteurella multocida (fowl cholera) in turkeys.
Q: What is the active ingredient?
DR: RofenAid 40 contains the antibacterial sulfadimethoxine plus a folic acid antagonist known as ormetoprim. By itself, sulfadimethoxine has been shown to be highly eﬀective therapeutically.1 However, early research showed that combining sulfadimethoxine and ormetoprim resulted in enhanced, broad-spectrum coccidiostatic and antibacterial activity when fed continuously according to label directions.2
Q: Is RofenAid safe to use?
DR: Studies have shown that RofenAid has a high margin of safety. In a 13-week safety study that involved feeding the medication to turkey poults at three to ﬁve times the recommended levels, researchers saw no signs of toxicity with either drug level.3 When fed to turkey breeder hens, RofenAid 40 had no adverse eﬀect on breeders based on egg production, fertility, hatchability and hatched poult performance.4
Q: Are there any restrictions for using RofenAid 40?
DR:Its active ingredient, sulfadimethoxine, is considered medically important to humans by the US Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, RofenAid 40 requires a veterinary feed directive to help ensure responsible use.
Q: Does RofenAid 40 have a withdrawal time?
DR: RofenAid 40 may be used up to 5 days before harvesting. That makes it a good ﬁt for young growing turkeys or on brooder farms, where withdrawal times are not a concern.
Q: The reintroduction of RofenAid 40 is certainly good news for the turkey industry, but in recent years, many producers have shifted to “no antibiotics ever” (NAE) production. Doesn’t that limit the product’s use?
DR: Yes, but NAE represents only one segment of the industry. Working with their veterinarian, most producers are still using FDA-approved antibiotics to ensure good health, welfare and performance in ﬂocks with high disease pressure.
Furthermore, most turkey operations producing NAE birds have a fallback plan in case some ﬂocks need to be treated. In those situations, RofenAid 40 is a good option for preventing enteric and respiratory diseases. Periodically using RofenAid allows producers to rest anticoccidials such as Zoamix® (zoalene) and other anticoccidials that are used in NAE and conventional production systems.
Q: Some producers have balked at using RofenAid 40 because they say it’s expensive.
DR: RofenAid 40 does cost more to use than competitive medications, but it’s still a good short-term investment where supplemental control measures are needed or when producers want to rest other anticoccidials. For example, in conventional production systems, you could feed RofenAid 40 to young turkeys for 2 weeks before rotating to Zoamix.
Q: You mentioned that RofenAid 40 can be used in broilers.
DR: RofenAid 40 may be used as an aid in the prevention of bacterial infections caused by Escherichia coli (colibacillosis), which is often associated with early mortality and performance losses in young chicks.5 RofenAid 40 is also eﬀective against Pasteurella multocida and Haemophilus gallinarum (infectious coryza), two diseases seen mostly in long-lived birds.
In addition, RofenAid 40 aids in the prevention of coccidiosis in chickens caused by Eimeria tenella, Eimeria necatrix, Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, Eimeria brunetti and Eimeria mivati.
Caution: Federal law restricts medicated feed containing this veterinary feed directive (VFD) drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
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1 Marusich WL, et al, Safety of Sulfadimethoxine Potentiated Mixture (RofenAid), a New Broad Spectrum Coccidiostat-Antibacterial, in Turkeys. Poult Sci. 1971 March;50(2):512-517.
5 Nolan LK, et al. Overview of colibacillosis in poultry. Merck Manual: Veterinary Manual.
TOOLBOX, Issue 21
Toolbox is a series of interviews with veterinarians and other technical specialists about their experiences managing antimicrobials, vaccines and other tools for poultry health. It is produced by the editors of Poultry Health Today on behalf of the US Poultry Business of Zoetis.