Powerful Studies Help Make BRD Antibiotic Choices Easier

What is a meta-analysis study and why is it more powerful than other types of studies?

Recently, three meta-analysis studies drew the same conclusion: DRAXXIN® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution is the most effective antibiotic for both control and treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD).1-3

Meta-analysis DefinedA meta-analysis pools data from several similar studies to arrive at a summary conclusion, which can bear more statistical weight than the individual studies alone.

Today, veterinarians practice evidence-based medicine, in which medical decisions are made based on the most current evidence, including independent studies in real animals. However, different research teams in different locations may study the same issue with small numbers of animals, sometimes resulting in conflicting results.

To help clarify the evidence, a meta-analysis is a statistical technique that systematically pools the data from several similar studies to arrive at a summary conclusion that bears more statistical weight than the individual studies alone.

Meta-analysis studies are generally ranked as the least biased, most reliable type of evidence available, taking the highest position in widely accepted hierarchies of evidence, such as the one shown here.4,*

Three Meta-analyses Support Conclusions

In the last year, three peer-reviewed publications evaluated and compared a large number of studies on the effectiveness of antibiotic products for control and treatment of BRD:

  • In 2016, Preventive Veterinary Medicine evaluated 97 trials that compared antibiotics and their ability to treat clinical BRD in feedlot cattle.1
  • In 2017, Journal of Animal Science evaluated 29 studies that looked at antibiotics and their ability to control BRD on arrival in feeder or stocker calves.2
  • In 2017, Bovine Practitioner evaluated 26 studies that focused on tulathromycin (DRAXXIN) relative to other treatment options for treatment or control of BRD in confined feedlot cattle.3

In All Three Studies, DRAXXIN Rose to the Top

All three publications independently found DRAXXIN to be the most effective antibiotic for controlling or treating BRD.1-3

In other key findings, DRAXXIN was demonstrated to be:

  • The superior antibiotic for reducing the risk of BRD mortality2,3
  • The antibiotic most likely to bring first-time treatment success compared with other antibiotics. This means fewer treatments after metaphylaxis and fewer secondary treatments following initial treatment compared with other commonly used antibiotics.3
  • The antibiotic with the lowest the risk of BRD, relapse and re-treatment. Compared with other antibiotics, DRAXXIN delivered the lowest risk for BRD following metaphylaxis (Day 0 to closeout and 60 days after),1,2 BRD relapse (within 28 days following treatment)1 and BRD re-treatment after metaphylaxis (Day 0 to closeout).2

With so much reliable evidence combined from multiple studies, you and your veterinarian can make BRD antibiotic decisions with greater confidence than ever before.


IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days in cattle. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product. See full Prescribing Information.



*A meta-analysis method is a useful tool with many advantages, but like any study, the merits of published results need to be evaluated considering various checks and balances. As a statistical means of reviewing primary studies, there are limitations and areas for potential bias, which are usually unintentional.

1 O’Connor AM, Yuan C, Cullen JN, Coetzee JK, da Silva N, Wang C. A mixed treatment meta-analysis of antibiotic treatment options for bovine respiratory disease — An Update. Prev Vet Med. 2016;132:130-139.
2 Abell KM, Theurer ME, Larson RL, White BJ, Apley M. A mixed treatment comparison meta-analysis of metaphylaxis treatments for bovine respiratory disease. J Anim Sci. 2017;95(2):626-635.
3 Poulsen Nautrup B, Van Vlaenderen I, Decker M, Cleale RM. Antimicrobial drug use for control and treatment of bovine respiratory disease in U.S. feedlot cattle: A meta-analysis. Bov Pract. 2017;51(1);1-13.
4 New York Medical College Health Sciences Library. EBM Resource Center: Acquire the Evidence. http://guides.library.nymc.edu/c.php?g=469202&p=3568613. Updated August 21, 2017. Accessed December 11, 2017.

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