On September 20, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA released a warning to veterinarians and pet owners regarding the use of the isoxazoline class of flea and tick products. A small percentage of dogs on such products have experienced negative side effects, some of which have included neurological signs such as tremors and seizures.
Link to the FDA announcement can be found at FDA bulletin re flea and tick products
Two of the products in the isoxazoline class, Bravecto® (Merck Animal Health) and NexGard® (Boehringer-Ingelheim/Merial) are commonly recommended by our veterinarians.
We have been in contact with both companies and wish to share with you their responses to the FDA warning.
· The FDA considers products in the isoxazoline class to be safe and effective for dogs and cats but is providing this information so that pet owners and veterinarians can take it into consideration when choosing flea and tick products for their pets.
Statement from Boehringer-Ingelheim/Merial [NexGard®]:
“You may have seen some information recently about a safety communication that was issued by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States about oral flea and tick products in the isoxazoline class. This class includes NexGard® and several other products, and we wanted to provide our pet parents with some additional information.
The FDA considers products in the isoxazoline class to be safe and effective for dogs and cats and issued its safety communication so that pet owners and veterinarians can take it into consideration when choosing flea and tick products for their pets.
We are confident in NexGard®. It is a trusted treatment for the control of fleas and ticks in dogs and continues to be safe and effective. There is potential risk with all medications, and with NexGard® the benefits of flea and tick control vastly outweigh the very low risk of an adverse reaction. The reported signs are rare with NexGard® – less than one case in every 10,000 doses.
The well-being of our patients is incredibly important to us and we take great care in completing a proper examination and assessment to determine the most suitable course of treatment. We also do research into the products that we prescribe in our clinic so we can have complete confidence in the treatments being recommended.”
Statement from Merck Animal Health [Bravecto®]:
“Merck Animal Health, the manufacturer of the Bravecto portfolio of products, remains confident in the safety and efficacy of Bravecto, which has been established through comprehensive clinical research in more than 170 studies. Nothing has changed about the Bravecto product.
The current FDA communication is based on information gathered on the isoxazoline class as a whole and therefore applies to all products in the class, which includes Bravecto.
Every molecule is unique, even within a class, and each has its own safety profile. This is why it’s important for all pet owners to speak to their veterinarian before making a decision about flea and tick control products for their dog.
Nothing is more important to Merck Animal Health than the safety and efficacy of our products and the well-being of animals. We encourage all pet owners to speak to their veterinarian before making a decision about flea and tick control products. More than just a nuisance, fleas and ticks transmit disease and pose animal and human health risks. It is critical to protect pets from these parasites.”
Please rest assured that our team continues to recommend all products based on clinical safety and efficacy, and our veterinarians take your pet’s individual needs into consideration when recommending any treatment plan. If you have concerns or questions, do not hesitate to call our hospital.
The Team at Centennial Animal Hospital and Gravenhurst Veterinary Services