Cerenia for dogs



Active ingredient




What is Cerenia?

Cerenia belongs to a class of drugs called neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonists. These drugs work by targeting specific receptors in the brain and gut called NK1 receptors. These receptors aid with the transmission of signals related to nausea and vomiting.

What does Cerenia do?

Cerenia’s active ingredient, maropitant, acts by blocking a specific neurotransmitter called substance P in the brain. Substance P is involved in triggering vomiting. By inhibiting substance P, Cerenia prevents the signals that lead to nausea and vomiting. This makes it a powerful antiemetic, perfect for preventing and alleviating motion sickness, as well as managing vomiting associated with various conditions.

Once administered, Cerenia is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches peak plasma concentration within a few hours. The body then distributes it to various tissues, including the brain, where it exerts its antiemetic effects. Cerenia’s elimination primarily occurs through the liver and bile, with a small portion being excreted in the urine.

Understanding these pharmacokinetics helps us appreciate how Cerenia efficiently targets the source of nausea and vomiting, ensuring your pet stays comfortable and free from stomach upset.

What is Cerenia for?

Cerenia, is your pet’s ally in the battle against nausea and vomiting. This versatile medication comes to the rescue in various situations:

  • Motion Sickness: If your pet gets queasy during car rides or travels, Cerenia steps in to prevent motion sickness, ensuring a smoother journey for your furry friend.
  • Post-Surgery Recovery: After surgical procedures, pets may experience nausea. Cerenia is there to provide relief and ensure a comfortable recovery without the added stress of vomiting.
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Vomiting: For pets undergoing chemotherapy, Cerenia is a crucial component in managing and preventing chemotherapy-induced vomiting, allowing them to undergo treatment more comfortably.
  • General Gastrointestinal Upset: Whether it’s a temporary upset stomach or a more chronic condition, Cerenia helps in managing vomiting and nausea associated with various gastrointestinal issues.

What are the possible side effects with Cerenia?

Cerenia is generally well-tolerated, but it’s good to be aware of potential side effects. Rest assured, these occurrences are rare and often mild, ensuring your pet’s well-being. Keep an eye out for:

  • Mild Sleepiness: Some pets may experience mild drowsiness, which is usually temporary and resolves on its own. It’s like a little nap to help them feel better.
  • Decreased Appetite: A temporary decrease in appetite might occur. If your pet seems less interested in food, monitor them closely, and inform your vet if it persists.
  • Diarrhea: In rare cases, pets may develop mild diarrhea. If this happens, it usually resolves without intervention. If it persists, consulting your veterinarian is advisable.
  • Allergic Reactions: While uncommon, allergic reactions such as swelling or difficulty breathing can occur. If you notice any unusual symptoms, seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • Hypersalivation: Excessive drooling can occur in some cases, especially if a higher dose has been used.

Remember, these side effects are infrequent. If you ever have concerns or notice any changes in your pet, your veterinarian is the best source for guidance and reassurance.

How to give Cerenia safely

  • Follow vet instructions: Always use Cerenia exactly as your vet has prescribed. This includes the right dose and frequency. Never adjust the dose on your own, even if your dog or cat seems to be feeling better or worse. If you aren’t sure of the dose prescribed, please call your vet to confirm.
  • Give on an empty stomach if used for sickness prevention: For motion sickness prevention, it is recommended to give Cerenia at least one hour before travel. It is recommended to give it with a light snack as administering Cerenia on an empty stomach may cause your dog to vomit. 
  • Check with your vet if giving anything else: Your vet should be aware of other drugs your pet is on, but it’s always worth double-checking in case there’s been a miscommunication somewhere. If your dog is on supplements or non-prescription treatments you should also tell your vet when they prescribe Cerenia, as they may not be suitable to be given together.
  • Storage and Handling: Store Cerenia according to the instructions on the label, usually in a cool and dry place. Make sure it’s out of reach of children and other pets. 
  • Report any accidental overdose to your vet immediately: If you have mistakenly given too much Cerenia, report it to your vet as soon as you realise the error. An overdose can present complications.

Cerenia FAQs

When should I give Cerenia to my pet? 

When should I give Cerenia to my pet? There are different scenarios Cerenia can be given to your pet. These include:

  • Preventing vomiting due to motion sickness: For long journeys in the car or other travel situations, cerenia can be given one hour before travel.
  • Preventing vomiting before surgery or chemotherapy: Your vet will be able to advise you when it is appropriate to give Cerenia in these situations.
  • Treating existing vomiting: Cerenia can be given with or without food in this case. Your vet will be able to advise you based on your pet’s specific situation.

Can I use Cerenia for long-term treatment? 

Cerenia cannot be used for long-term treatment. Currently, Cerenia solution for injection can be given for up to five days. Cerenia Tablets can be given for up to 14 days. It is not recommended to use the drug longer than the datasheet advises. 

What should I do if I miss a dose? 

If you have missed a dose of Cerenia, consult your vet immediately before doing anything else. They will usually advise you to give the dose when you remember. If it is approaching the time for the next dose, your vet may advise you to skip the missed dose. It is not recommended to give double doses. 

Are there any interactions with other medications? 

There are some noted interactions with other medications. Cerenia should not be used alongside Ca-channel antagonists as maropitant has an affinity to Ca-channels and will disrupt the action of these drugs. Cerenia is also highly bound to plasma proteins and may compete with other highly bound drugs.

Can Cerenia be given to pregnant or nursing pets?

It is not recommended to use Cerenia in pregnant or lactating bitches. This is because the safety of Cerenia has not been established in dogs that are pregnant or lactating. It is recommended to only use according to a risk-benefit assessment made by your own vet.

What do I do if my pet experiences side effects? 

If your pet experiences any side effects, stop using the drug, in any form, immediately. Contact your vet for advice and treatment if required. 

Cerenia Datasheet

All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Cerenia box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Courses related to Cerenia

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.