Reducing risks to human and animal health from exposure to N-methyl pyrrolidone in veterinary medicines

News 14/04/2023

On 8 December 2022, EMA’s veterinary medicines committee, the CVMP, recommended new measures to reduce the risks from exposure to the excipient N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP) for women who may handle NMP-containing veterinary medicines and animals that are given these medicines. The recommendations address inconsistencies in the product information of veterinary medicines containing NMP, which are marketed in many European Union (EU) Member States. For more details on the CVMP recommendations, please consult the procedure page.

NMP is an excipient used in some veterinary medicines that is classified as a teratogen (a substance that can cause birth defects following exposure during pregnancy) in laboratory animals. There is therefore the possibility that NMP could cause birth defects in children of women who handle or come into contact with NMP-containing medicines during their pregnancy, and in the offspring of animals given these medicines.

More than 1,100 veterinary medicines containing the excipient NMP are available in the EU under various trade names and in different formulations, for use mainly in companion animals and large farm animals. These medicines are available as injections, solutions for infusion, spot-on and pour-on products, shampoos, sheep dips, sprays and concentrates for oral solutions for use in the drinking water of animals or solutions for fish treatment.

The review of veterinary medicines containing NMP is the first referral under Article 82 of Regulation (EU) 2019/6 which was introduced as part of the new EU veterinary medicinal products regulation. The CVMP recommendations were sent to the European Commission, which issued an EU-wide legally binding decision on 28 March 2023.

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