Petlearnia

Bravecto

Bravecto for Dogs and Cats

Formulation

Liquid Spot-on or Tablet

Active ingredient

Fluralaner

Frequency of use

Every 12 weeks

Minimum age/weight

8 weeks (2kg)

Treats

Fleas (adults), ticks, mites

What is Bravecto?

Bravecto is a tablet or spot on formulation of the drug fluralaner, marketed by MSD animal health. It treats fleas, ticks and mites for up to 12 weeks.

What does Bravecto do?

After your pet has Bravecto, it is absorbed through the skin or gut into the bloodstream. When a parasite feeds on your pet, they ingest fluralaner. The drug blocks part of the insect nervous system from working by acting on GABA receptors and glutamate receptors. This kills the parasites, which drop off after a short feeding.

What is Bravecto for?

Bravecto is an anti-parasite treatment that helps to control:

  • Fleas – Bravecto works by rapidly killing adult fleas, before they can lay eggs
  • Ticks – Bravecto works by killing ticks within a few hours of their first feed, stopping the tick lifecycle and reducing transfer of tick-borne diseases
  • Demodex mites in dogs – Bravecto works against demodex mites (demodectic mange)
  • Sarcoptic mange in dogs – Bravecto kills the mites responsible for sarcoptic mange
  • Ear mites in cats – Bravecto kills the mite responsible for this itchy disease

Note that while these are the ‘licensed’ uses for Bravecto, vets may use Bravecto off-license to treat other diseases using something called the ‘prescribing cascade’.

What are the side effects of Bravecto for dogs and cats?

Like all medications, Bravecto can have side effects. However, these are relatively rare. During pre-market testing, Bravecto was given to dogs at 5 times the recommended dose more frequently than recommended, with no side effects seen. When dogs do get side effects, they might:

  • Vomit, drool, or have diarrhoea (1-2 out of 100 tablet-treated dogs and 1 in 200 spot-on-treated cats). These are mild and transient.
  • Tremors, wobbliness, lethargy (less than 1 in 10,000 dogs and 1 in 100 cats)
  • Seizures (less than 1 in 10,000 treated dogs or cats)
  • Skin reactions to spot on treatments (1-2 in 100 treated dogs and 2-3 in 100 treated cats)

It’s thought that Bravecto lowers the seizure threshold, and these more serious side effects of Bravecto are more likely in dogs already prone to seizures. Most dogs recovered quickly.

While Bravecto is generally considered safe, you should always discuss the pros and cons with your vet before using it. If you see side effects of Bravecto, you should always inform your vet, whether it’s on this list or not. Your vet has a duty to report these side effects as part of product surveillance.

How to give Bravecto safely

1. Follow instructions carefully: Always use Bravecto exactly as your vet has prescribed, or according to the instructions on the label. This includes the right dose and frequency.

2. Never split doses: Always use the right size for your pet. Never try to split a larger dose between several pets as this can lead to under- and over-dose when the product isn’t evenly distributed in the tablet or due to the difficulties of accurately splitting spot-ons.

4. Take care if your dog has a history of seizures: These drugs may reduce the seizure threshold in pets. If your pet has had seizures, check with your vet before giving this drug.

6. Give tablets with food: Bravecto tablets are absorbed best when it’s given with food, so give it to your dog just before or after a meal.

7. 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 Bravecto, as they may not be suitable to be given together.

8. Storage and Handling: Store Bravecto 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. Use before the use-by date.

9. Report any accidental overdose to your vet immediately: If you have mistakenly given too much Bravecto, report it to your vet as soon as you realise the error. They will recommend the best course of action depending on the severity of the overdose.

Bravecto FAQs

Can you buy Bravecto over the counter in the UK?

Bravecto is a prescription-only medicine, which means your vet will need to write a prescription. Legally, vets need to make a clinical assessment before the prescription, which may mean you need to visit them. You can then buy the Bravecto from your vet or, with a written prescription, you can buy it online or from another stockist or pharmacy.

Why do vets recommend Bravecto?

Vets should always take your pet’s lifestyle into account when helping you find a flea or tick medication that suits them. In general, the major advantage of Bravecto is that it lasts for 12 weeks with a single dose. Since continual treating for 12 weeks is necessary to get rid of a flea infestation, this long-lasting action has advantages. It’s also good that it comes in a spot-on and tablet (for dogs) and a spot-on (for cats).
For more information on the flea lifecycle, see our free vet-written course “Flea Treatment and Prevention in Pets“.

Can Bravecto be given to animals with MDR-1 mutation?

Bravecto is well tolerated in collies and other dogs with MDR-1 mutations. In clinical trials, a 3 x overdose was administered to dogs with MDR-1 and no side effects were noted.

What is the difference between Bravecto and Frontline?

Bravecto is a tablet or spot-on solution of fluralaner, while Frontline is a spot-on solution of fipronil. They work in different ways. Frontline lasts 4 weeks, while Bravecto lasts 12 weeks.

What works as well as Bravecto in dogs?

The right flea treatment for your pet is going to depend on their lifestyle and personality. The best place to get a recommendation of what to use instead of Bravecto is your vet, who can help you. However there are similar drugs on the market using other isoxazalines such as afoxolaner (NexGard), sarolaner (Simparica), and lotilaner (Credelio).

What flea and tick medication was killing dogs? Was it Bravecto?

Whenever a new drug comes out, a raft of complaints of severe side effects follow. Some of these are genuine, while others are not. Many are not investigated, so while the pet parent remains convinced that the drug killed their dog, there is no proof. When they are investigated, another cause is often found – for example, a puppy could die the day after their Bravecto, but investigations find a foreign object in his abdomen and a septic peritonitis which explains all the symptoms.

Having said this, the FDA in the US did release a warning when more dogs and cats were impacted by neurological side effects (mostly seizures) than were indicated on the drug leaflet. These have now been updated. This is the reason it’s important to report any potential adverse effects of drugs to your vet, who can start investigations if needed and report the side effects to the VMD.

How much does Bravecto cost UK?

Bravecto is a prescription-only medicine. Online, Bravecto is available from about £15 for a 3-month dose, but you’ll need to get a written prescription from your vet as well, which are usually charged at £10-30, making the cost £25-45. Alternatively, you can buy a 3-month dose of Bravecto from your vet for £30-50.

This makes Bravecto in the UK about £10-15 per month.

Please note, prices may vary by region, time of year, and other details and this information is only given here as a guide.

Bravecto 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 Bravecto box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

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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.