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Imidacloprid (Advantage®,K9 Advantix®)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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  • Imidacloprid is an insecticidal agent that acts on the central nervous system of insects causing impairment and subsequent death.
  • It is supplied as a topical solution that collects in the oils of the skin and in hair follicles. It is not absorbed into the body and does not circulate through the blood stream.
  • The effects of imidacloprid last about 30 days and remain effective after bathing or swimming, though shampooing should be avoided within 48 hours of application.
  • Fleas are rapidly killed by imidacloprid: Between 98 and 100 percent of fleas die within 12 hours of treatment. Reinfesting fleas are killed within 2 hours.
  • Imidacloprid is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names or Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in animals only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Advantage® (Bayer) and K9 Advantix® (Bayer)

    Uses of Imidacloprid

  • Imidacloprid is used in the control and treatment of flea infestations.
  • It has also been used to treat Cheyletiellosis (Walking Dandruff Mite) in dogs and cats.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, imidacloprid may cause side effects in some animals.
  • Imidacloprid should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • This product is not recommended for use in pregnant, nursing, debilitated, or geriatric animals.
  • Also, it is not recommended for use in kittens less than 8 weeks of age or in puppies less than 7 weeks of age.
  • Imidacloprid may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving might interact with imidacloprid.
  • Imidacloprid is a topical agent and temporary irritation at the site of application is possible.
  • Spotted areas may appear wet or oily for up to 24 hours.
  • Overdose is rare and no adverse effects have been reported at even up to 5 times the recommended dose.
  • Due to its bitter taste, imidacloprid may cause temporary profuse drooling if ingested.

    How Imidacloprid is Supplied

  • Advantage® is a 9.1 percent solution of imidacloprid for topical application in dogs and cats. It is supplied in the form of applicator tubes in 4- or 6-packs.
  • K9 Advantix® contains imidacloprid (same concentration as above) combined with permethrin. This product is only for use in dogs.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The dose of imidacloprid is based on the weight of the dog. Tubes/pipettes are available in sizes of 0.4 ml (for dogs under 10 pounds), 1 ml (for dogs 11 to 20 pounds), 2.5 ml (for dogs 21 to 55 pounds), and 4 ml (for dogs over 55 pounds). One tube of appropriate size should normally be applied topically every 30 days.
  • For cats, tubes/pipettes are available in sizes of 0.4 ml (for cats and kittens under 9 pounds) and 0.8 ml (for cats and kittens over 9 pounds). The medication is normally applied once monthly.
  • Imidacloprid can be used more frequently than every 30 days in severe infestations but it should not be applied more frequently than once a week.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian. Even if your pet appears to feel better, the entire treatment program should be completed to prevent resurgence of the infestation.

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