Maropitant for Canine Motion Sickness/Vomiting

Maropitant is the first and only approved product for vomiting in dogs marketed as Cerenia®. It is important to note this approval is specifically for puppies over the age of 16 weeks and older. Maropitant is commonly considered for use in motion sickness, nausea and extra-label for felines. This antiemetic works by blocking substance P via neurokinin-1 receptors present in the vomiting center and chemoreceptor trigger zone of the central nervous system.

But what are we to do if the animal cannot take down tablets due to vomiting/gag reflex or owner does not want to perform injections? The answer could be compounding into a more appealing flavored suspension tailored to your pet. This medication should take effect in roughly 1-2 hours to improve clinical symptoms.

Bioavailability of maropitant has been shown to be around 50% in cats versus only 23.7% in dogs, hence why the dosing is elevated in dogs (Quimby, 2020). Feeding a small snack one hour prior to administration of oral maropitant will minimize occurrence of vomiting pre-trip but will not affect bioavailability. Dosing reduction recommended in animals with hepatic disease. Side effect profile includes hypersalivation, pre-travel vomiting and diarrhea when given orally.

Prevention of acute vomiting dosing: 1mg/kg by mouth every 24 hours in cats (2mg/kg in dogs)

Prevention of motion sickness vomiting: 8mg/kg by mouth every 24 hours in dogs

Plumb, D. C. (2018). Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. PharmaVet: Stockholm.

Quimby, J.M. (2020). Maropitant use in cats. Today’s Veterinary Practice.


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