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Imidacloprid (Advantage®)
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Flea - Tick - External Parasites
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Generic Name

Brand Name

Type of Drug

Form and Storage
Topical solution
Store in a cool, dry location.

Indication for Use
Treatment and prevention of flea infestations.

General Information
EPA approved for use in dogs and cats. Kills 98-100% of fleas on the pet within 12 hours of application and reinfesting fleas are killed within 2 hours. The flea is killed by a disruption of its nervous system. Fleas do not need to bite the pet before the medication kills them, thus decreasing the risk of flea allergy dermatitis. It will kill larval stages that come in contact with the treated pet. Imidacloprid spreads over the body with the body oils, and collects in the hair follicles and then is released over time (up to 1 month) from the hair follicles onto the skin and hair. Remains on the pet following bathing, swimming, or exposure to sunlight. Repeated bathing or swimming may decrease efficacy and require reapplication earlier than the normal 4 week intervals. Could retreat as often as weekly if necessary, but it is unlikely it would be needed that frequently.

Usual Dose and Administration
Cats: Different tablets for cats under 9 pounds and those over 9 pounds.
Dogs: Different tablets for dogs under 10 pounds, 11-20 pounds, 21-55 pounds, and those over 55 pounds.
Apply to the pets skin not the hair coat. Apply to base of skull/back of neck so pet cannot lick off the product. Do not rub in.

Side Effects
Very bitter tasting. If pet licks it off before it has a chance to spread and dry, may see drooling.

Do not use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to it.

Do not use in kittens less than 8 weeks of age or puppies less than 7 weeks of age.

Manufacturer states that it is not teratogenic (cause birth defects), but recommends not to use on pregnant animals.

Not to be taken internally. Do not get in eyes or mouth. Apply product to skin of pet.

Need to treat all pets in the household for fleas, and treat the environment, or the problem will continue.

Treat year-round for best results or start before warm weather begins each spring in the northern states.

Drug Interactions
Do not use in combination with other pesticides.

Unlikely. If ingest high doses, may see twitching and muscle weakness.


Imidacloprid (Advantage®) is a topical insecticide. It is applied to the skin along the back of dogs and cats once a month. It kills adult fleas and larvae; it will not kill ticks. Not for use on kittens less than 8 weeks or puppies less than 7 weeks of age. If ingested may see drooling, twitching and muscle weakness. It has a wide margin of safety, however, some animals may become hypersensitive (allergic) to it.

Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment of Flea and Tick Infestations in Cats
Fleas & Ticks in Dogs

Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - 24-hour service available throughout North America.

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($59.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Updated 6/20/17

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