Cerenia is an anti-nausea medication that stops and prevents vomiting. It can be used for many different conditions, but one of the most common uses is to control vomiting in dogs who get car sick. Other typical applications include the prevention of vomiting after chemotherapy and controlling acute vomiting triggered by an underlying illness or condition.
How to use
Cerenia for dogs is available in a tablet form. It should be given to the dog along with a small amount of food about two hours before the planned car trip. Cerenia can be administered once a day up to two days in a row. It should not be given every single day for car sickness but can be used several times a week.
This medication can also be used to prevent vomiting after chemotherapy, following the same protocol used to avoid vomiting from motion sickness.
Cerenia is also used to treat acute episodes of vomiting. For this purpose, in most cases, a veterinarian will administer an injection of Cerenia after diagnosing the cause of the vomiting. The dog can then be given a Cerenia tablet daily for a few days to control the vomiting while the treatment for the underlying condition takes effect.
How it works
Cerenia is the brand name of a chemical called maropitant. It acts by blocking the binding of substance P to receptors in the central nervous system. Substance P is a small peptide found in the brain and spinal cord that is involved in pain, emotions, and inflammatory processes.
Substance P is rapidly released in response to noxious, potentially life-threatening stimuli. Activation of the vomiting center of the brain requires a quick burst of substance P in response to a stimulus, which causes the brain to trigger the stomach to eject its contents. When substance P is blocked by maropitant, the noxious stimulus cannot trigger the stomach to empty itself.
This medication is quite effective in treating motion sickness. In a study of dogs affected by motion sickness, 55% of dogs vomited during a car ride after being given placebo tablets while in comparison only 7% of dogs vomited during a car ride after being given Cerenia.
Cerenia is generally considered to be quite safe. Its primary side effect is to decrease appetite. Some dogs may appear lethargic or salivate excessively. Rarely, muscle tremors, panting, and hyperactivity have been observed. It should be used with caution in dogs with underlying liver disease since the liver metabolizes it.