Cerenia for Dogs - Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Cerenia for Dogs - Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Although it can be fairly common, vomiting in dogs should be cause for concern with any responsible dog guardian. This is especially important when it persists for more than 24 hours and when we see other worrying clinical signs. In these cases, we need to take the dog to the veterinarian. Antiemetic drugs are those which are prescribed to suppress the urge to vomit, although they are also used to treat nausea. If this is the case for your dog, it is possible they will be prescribed Cerenia, an antiemetic drug with the active ingredient maropitant.

If you want to know more about Cerenia for dogs, AnimalWised brings you the uses, dosage, side effects and more of maropitant.

What is Cerenia for dogs?

Cerenia is a veterinary medicine with the active ingredient is maropitant. It is an antiemetic, meaning it is a drug intended to treat vomiting and nausea. Its antiemetic effect is produced by antagonizing neurokinin (NK-1) receptors present in the vomiting center of the central nervous system. By antagonizing these receptors, it inhibits the binding of substance P, which is considered the key neurotransmitter involved in vomiting.

Cerenia was developed by the pharmaceutical company Zoetis, specifically for the purposes of treating motion sickness in dogs. However, its uses have widened over time. We look at these uses in more detail below.

Learn more about other types of canine antiemetics with our article on metoclopramide for dogs.

Cerenia for dogs uses

As we have already mentioned, Cerenia is an antiemetic drug used to treat vomiting. Specifically, it is used to prevent or treat vomiting in the following situations:

  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea
  • Kinestosis (motion sickness-induced vomiting)
  • Vomiting induced by other causes

Not all types of vomiting are the same and some can be more worrying than others. Find out about one such type in our article on dogs throwing up black vomit.

Cerenia for dogs dosage

The dose of maropitant in the form of the drug Cerenia depends on two main factors. These are the route of administration and the effect we want to achieve in terms of treatment.

  • Route of administration: it can be administered orally (tablets) or parenterally (injectable solution).
  • Desired effect: causes and treatment of nausea and/or vomiting.

Dosage of Cerenia oral tablets

The dose of Cerenia tablets administered orally is as follows:

  • Chemotherapy nausea treatment: the dose is 2 mg per kg of body weight. To prevent vomiting, it should be administered more than one hour in advance of chemotherapy for dogs treatment. Although the duration of the effect is approximately 24 hours, it can be administered the night before.

  • Preventing motion sickness: the dose is 8 mg per kg of body weight. The tablet should be administered at least one hour before the start of the trip. The effect persists for at least 12 hours, so it may be convenient to administer it the night before the trip. The treatment can be repeated for a maximum of 2 consecutive days.

  • Preventing vomiting due to other causes: the dose is 2 mg per kg of body weight once a day. Tablet treatment should not be prolonged for more than 14 days.

Dosage of Cerenia injectable solution

Cerenia solution for injection should be administered subcutaneously or intravenously at a dose of 1 mg per kg of body weight once a day. The duration of parenteral treatment should not exceed 5 days.

To prevent vomiting, Cerenia solution for injection should be administered more than one hour in advance. Although the duration of effect is approximately 24 hours, it can be administered the night before chemotherapy treatment. It should be noted that the injectable form is not recommended to prevent vomiting induced by motion sickness.

Once the dose and duration of Cerenia effects have been determined, it should be noted that maropitant can accumulate in the body after daily administration. It is possible that doses lower than those recommended are effective in preventing or treating vomiting.

The clinical picture can be further complicated with other signs, as you can see when the dog has vomiting and diarrhea concurrently. This is why it is important to seek veterinary medical attention if you do not know the cause of the vomiting.

Side effects and contraindications of Cerenia for dogs

The adverse reactions that may occur associated with the administration of Cerenia in dogs include the following:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting (within two hours after administration of 8 mg/kg dose)
  • Injection site pain when injected subcutaneously
  • Anaphylactic reactions such as edema, urticaria, erythema, dyspnea, pale mucous membranes, collapse, etc.

Learn more about the latter symptoms with our article on anaphylactic shock in dogs.

Contraindications to the use of Cerenia in dogs are as follows:

  • Vomiting due to infectious gastroenteritis or intoxication: in these cases, vomiting is a defense mechanism used by the body to eliminate the pathogenic or toxic agent.
  • Allergy or hypersensitivity: to maropitant or to any excipient included in the drug formula.
  • Dogs under treatment with calcium channel antagonist drugs: such as amlodipine or diltiazem as maropitant has an affinity for calcium channels.

In addition, Cerenia should be administered with caution in the following cases:

  • Liver disorders: in dogs with liver disease, Cerenia should be used with caution since it is metabolized in the liver.
  • Heart disease: in dogs with or predisposed to heart disease, use with caution as it may alter calcium and potassium channel function. Read our article on the symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs to learn more.
  • Puppies less than 16 weeks old (at a dose of 8 mg/kg) or less than 8 weeks old (at a dose of 2 mg/kg): the safety of the drug has not been studied in puppies of this age at the indicated doses.
  • Pregnancy and lactation: no toxicity studies have been carried out in pregnant or lactating dogs. In these cases, it is only recommended to use it after a proper evaluation of the risk/benefit.

Overdose of Cerenia in dogs

Cases of Cerenia overdose in dogs can occur for two reasons:

  • Improper dosage
  • Accidental ingestion (the most frequent cause of maropitant overdose)

In the studies carried out, after oral administration of Cerenia at doses greater than 20 mg/kg, the following clinical signs may be observed:

  • Vomiting
  • Excess salivation
  • Watery stools

To prevent poisoning by this or any other drug, remember the importance of complying with the dosage prescribed by the veterinarian. Keep any medicine or medical device out of the reach of your pets. In case of overdose or suspicion of it, do not hesitate to go urgently to a veterinary center, regardless of whether or not associated clinical signs appear.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Cerenia for Dogs - Uses, Dosage and Side Effects, we recommend you visit our Medicine category.

  • Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS). Technical sheet or summary of product characteristics: Cerenia injectable solution. Retrieved from: https://cimavet.aemps.es/cimavet/pdfs/es/ft/EU%402%4006%40062%40005/FT_EU-2-06-062-005.pdf
  • Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS). Technical sheet or summary of product characteristics: Cerenia tablets. Retrieved from: https://cimavet.aemps.es/cimavet/pdfs/es/ft/EU%402%4006%40062%40001/FT_EU-2-06-062-001.pdf