FDA Announcement on Oral Flea & Tick Control:

Can I still give my pet Nexgard?

If you’re reading this blog post it’s likely because you either read or heard about an article that was released by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. It’s also safe to say that you probably love your pet, and you really care about their health. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place! The goal of this blog post is to clarify some common questions and concerns that our clients might have about the flea and tick prevention we frequently recommend: Nexgard (afoxolaner).

The article linked above was released to the public on September 20, 2018. To summarize, it explains to pet owners that drugs in the isoxazoline class (i.e. Nexgard, Bravecto, Simparica) can potentially cause neurologic side effects. The three major components that these medications have in common are:
1. They prevent fleas and ticks.
2. They are given orally as a tablet or treat.
3. They were approved by the FDA in 2013 for veterinary use and additional studies have been completed since their approval.
It is also important to note that the aforementioned neurological reactions occurred in less than 1% of the study population.

The most frequently asked questions we get when recommending Nexgard are “How does it work?” and “Is it safe?” The answer is simple but somewhat long-winded. Yes, Nexgard is an incredibly safe and effective prevention for fleas, ticks, and mites.  However, because Nexgard is ingested and absorbed into the bloodstream, rather than applied to and spread by the oils of the skin, the few reactions that do occur can seem more dramatic. As with any oral medication, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic or neurological reactions can occur. While we take all adverse reactions very seriously, our doctors have actually seen less reactions with oral Nexgard than with other topical flea and tick prevention options.

These isoxazoline drugs will continue to be monitored like all medications on the market, but for now, we can continue to say with confidence that Nexgard is a safe and convenient option for flea and tick control.

For more details or to consult with your veterinarian on the use of Nexgard for your pet, call (626) 331-5374 or email us at [email protected]

Written by Mackenzie Smith, BA
Edited by Laurie Kelban, DVM

Pictured: "Mango" after purchasing her pack of Nexgard.

The following information explains possible adverse reactions to Nexgard chewables and is a direct quote from the paper insert for a box of Nexgard:
"In a well-controlled US field study, which included a total of 333 households and 615 treated dogs (415 administered afoxolaner; 200 administered active control), no serious adverse reactions were observed with NexGard. Over the 90-day study period, all observations of potential adverse reactions were recorded. The most frequent reactions reported at an incidence of > 1% within any of the three months of observations are presented in the following table. The most frequently reported adverse reaction was vomiting. The occurrence of vomiting was generally self-limiting and of short duration and tended to decrease with subsequent doses in both groups. Five treated dogs experienced anorexia during the study, and two of those dogs experienced anorexia with the first dose but not subsequent doses."