PetMD Editorial
Written by:
PetMD Editorial
Published: November 7, 2012

Drug Info

  • Common Name: Advantage®
  • Drug Type: Parasiticide
  • Used For: Treatment of fleas, ticks, lice
  • Species: Dogs, Cats
  • Administered: Topical liquid, Topical spray
  • How Dispensed: Over the counter
  • FDA Approved: Yes

General Description

Imidacloprid is used to control flea infestations on pets. It damages a key receptor in the central nervous system of the flea, leading to death. It is not effective against ticks.

Imidacloprid is applied to the back of the neck and quickly spreads over your pet’s body within 24 hours via the oil glands.

Imidacloprid is to be applied every 30 days, preferably on the same day every month to treat and prevent fleas and other parasites.

Do not give your pet Imidacloprid by mouth! To administer Advantage topical solution, you want to puncture the seal on the tube using the cap. Then, spread the hair on the back of your pet’s neck above the shoulder blades to expose the skin. Squeeze and drag the entire contents of the tube onto the skin. Do not massage into skin, and do not apply to wet or broken skin.

How It Works

Imidacloprid penetrates the pest by direct contact or ingestion.

It works by causing the degradation of the acetylcholine receptor in the flea’s nervous system. Acetylcholine is an essential neurotransmitter, and disruption of the receptor leads to impairment of the insect’s central nervous sytem. Most of the fleas on your pet will die within 12 hours.

Storage Information

Store at room temperature.

Missed Dose?

Give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose or you have missed many doses, skip the missed ones and continue with the regular monthly schedule. Do not give your pet two doses at once. Notify your veterinarian that you missed a dose.


Side Effects and Drug Reactions

Imidacloprid may result in these side effects:

  • Drooling
  • Irritation at application site


Imidacloprid is safe for use in dogs over 7 weeks of age and cats over 8 weeks.

Use caution when administering this drug to aging or debilitated pets.

Do not bathe or shampoo your pet for 48 hours after application.

Please avoid human contact with this drug after application on your pet.

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