FDA Approves Generic Motion Sickness Drug for Dogs

At the beginning of April, the FDA officially approved maropitant citrate, a generic medication used to treat motion sickness in dogs.

Maropitant citrate is an antiemetic used in dogs and cats. Antiemetics are medications aimed at preventing or treating nausea and vomiting. Up until now, the only FDA-approved medication containing the ingredient maropitant citrate was the brand name drug Cerenia.

pug riding in car
Photo: Pixabay/Heszter

In addition, maropitant citrate is also used to treat acute nausea in other situations, like dogs recovering from chemotherapy. It works as a neurotransmitter inhibitor blocking the receptors for Substance P, the neurotransmitter that induces vomiting.

Should you decide to use it, there is one significant caveat: handle it with care and wash your hands immediately after touching the medication, or wear gloves! Why? The FDA approval notes that the labeling advises that those who touch, administer, or become exposed to maropitant citrate need to be aware that the substance can trigger an allergic reaction on the skin.

German shepherd in car
Photo: Pixabay/Kommunikation_ERG

If you come into direct contact with it, wash the affected area with soap and water immediately. Similarly, the drug can also irritate the eyes, should you inadvertently rub or touch them, which would require flushing them out with water. If that does occur, it’s also recommended you seek medical attention. In other words, you need to be conscientious while using the product.

That said, having a generic alternative for Cerenia will make treating nausea more accessible and affordable to pet parents, which is always good news. This is especially true for anyone with a pooch with a delicate stomach where even short car rides can result in a messy nightmare for everyone involved.

dog in car
Photo: Pixabay/pruzi

Ingested orally, maropitant citrate is available in 16, 24, 60, or 160 mg tablets. You should, of course, consult with your vet concerning your particular pet about size/weight in mind the first time you use it, even though the packaging comes with dosage recommendations. It’s suggested you feed your pup a small meal two hours before administering the medication.

On another note, just like with people, if your dog starts exhibiting symptoms of nausea and vomiting out of nowhere, you should contact your vet and seek medical help as soon as possible.

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