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Afoxolaner (NexGard™)

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Drug Library Overview of Afoxolaner (NexGard™) for Control of Fleas and Ticks in Dogs

Overview of Afoxolaner (NexGard™)

  • NexGard™ is a drug that provides flea and tick control for dogs. NexGard™ also known as Afoxolander contains antiparasitic agents used to kill and prevent fleas.
  • NexGard™ is the first FDA approved chewable beef-flavored tablet for treatment and prevention of flea infestations and the American Dog Tick. The active ingredient in NexGard™ is Afoxolaner. Afoxolaner works by over-stimulating the insects nervous system.
  • NexGardTM is a member of the isoxazoline family, shown to bind at a binding site to inhibit insect and acarine ligand-gated chloride channels. The channel in particular those gated by the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This results in hyperexcitation resulting in uncontrolled activity of the central nervous system and death of insects and acarines.
  • NexGard™ is a soft beef-flavored chewable that is very palatable.
  • The effects last about 30 days against fleas and ticks. In a study, NexGard™ killed 100% of fleas within 24 hours.
  • Swimming or bathing has no effect on NexGard™.
  • For use in dogs only.
  • NexGard™ is a Prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is Registered for use in animals only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: NexGard™ (Merial)

    Uses of Afoxolaner (NexGard™)

  • NexGard™ is used in the control and treatment of adult flea infestations in puppies and dogs. For more information on flea infestations, please see Flea Infestation in Dogs.
  • Nexgard™ also kills the American dog tick.
  • NexGard™ may benefit pets with Flea Allergy Dermatitis.

    Precautions and Side Effects of Afoxolaner (NexGard™)

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Nexgard™ can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Nexgard™ should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Nexgard™ is approved for use in dogs and puppies over 8 weeks of age and 4 pounds or more. It should be used with caution in breeding females, pregnant dogs, lactating dogs and in dogs with epilepsy or a history of seizures. Can be used in any breed of dog.
  • NexGard™ cannot be used on cats.
  • Nexgard™ may interact with other medications although preliminary studies found it to be safe with other dewormers, antibiotics, steroids, anesthetics, antihistamine.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to discuss using other medications when your pet is on Nexgard™.
  • Nexgard™ is an oral agent. The most common side effect noted was vomiting. Other adverse reactions included decreased dry flakey skin, diarrhea, lethargy and lack of appetite.
  • To report suspected adverse events, for technical assistance or to obtain a copy of the MSDS, contact Merial at 1-888-637-4251 or www.merial.com/nexgard.

    How Afoxolaner (NexGard™) is Supplied

  • Nexgard™ is available as an oral beef-flavored chewable tablet. It is dosed by body weight. Available sizes include:

    4 – 10 pounds – 11.3 mg tablet
    10.1 – 24 pounds – 28.3 mg tablet
    24.1 to 60 pounds – 68 mg tablet
    60.1 to 121 pounds – 136 mg tablet

    Dogs over 121.1 pounds should be given the appropriate combination of tablets.
    Expiration is 2 years from date of manufacture.

    Dosing Information for Afoxolaner (NexGard™)

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The dose of NexGard™ for preventative flea and tick control is administration of the product every 4 weeks throughout the flea and tick season.
  • NexGard™ can be administered with or without food.
  • Treatment can begin any time of year but should ideally begin 1 month prior to flea season.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. The manufacturer suggests monthly treatments to protect against flea re-infestation. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian.

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