Are you considering using maropitant (Cerenia®) for your dog? If so, you're not alone. Maropitant for dogs is a drug that is used to treat motion sickness, vomiting and some other conditions. It's effective and safe, and it can help your dog feel better when travelling or experiencing other types of motion sickness. In this post, we'll discuss what maropitant is, how it works, and the pros and cons of using it. So if you're curious about maropitant and would like to learn more, read on!

What is maropitant citrate and how does it work in dogs?

Maropitant citrate is a drug that is used to treat motion sickness and vomiting in dogs. It is also sometimes used "off-label" to suppress coughing in dogs and as a visceral analgesic (pain reliever). Maropitant is a drug that blocks the receptors in the brain that inhibits the binding of substance P which is responsible for vomiting and coughing in dogs. Maropitant is available in injectable and oral formulations. Injectable maropitant is given intramuscularly (IM), subcutaneously (SC), or intravenously (IV) while oral maropitant is given as a tablet.

What are the main uses of maropitant for dogs?

The main use of maropitant in dogs is to treat motion sickness and vomiting. It can also be used "off-label" to suppress coughing in dogs and as a visceral analgesic (pain reliever).

Maropitant is an excellent anti-emetic, which means it controls nausea and vomiting very well. Maropitant has been used widely in veterinary medicine, especially for dogs that are undergoing chemotherapy. As chemotherapeutic drugs frequently result in nausea and vomiting, maropitant has become a go-to drug to prevent these side effects. Maropitant is also effective in treating postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Furthermore, as maropitant can block visceral pain it has become commonly used during abdominal surgery as studies have shown it can decrease the amount of anesthetic required. Maropitant for this purpose is usually administered prior to surgery.

Other research has shown that maropitant can help to suppress coughing in dogs suffering from bronchitis, but it does not appear to relieve inflammation. Further studies are necessary to determine its potential as a cough suppressant.

What are the benefits of maropitant for dogs?

The main benefit of maropitant for dogs is that it is a very effective anti-emetic. This means that it can be used to control nausea and vomiting, and it is especially useful for dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Maropitant can also be used to suppress coughing in dogs and as a visceral analgesic (pain reliever), making it a versatile drug.

Another benefit of maropitant is that it is well tolerated by dogs with minimal side effects. The most common side effect of maropitant is pain at the injection site, but this is self-limiting and usually resolves within 15-30 minutes post-injection.

What are the potential drawbacks of maropitant for dogs?

The main potential drawback of maropitant for dogs is that the use in puppies less than 16 weeks of age is not well studied. Maropitant is considered to be safe for use in puppies over 16 weeks of age, but if you are considering using maropitant for a puppy less than 16 weeks old, you should discuss this with your veterinarian first.

What are some important considerations when using maropitant in dogs?

If maropitant is used alongside other drugs that are highly protein-bound (such as NSAIDs or benzodiazepines) or in dogs with low blood proteins, there is caution as the drug is also highly protein-bound.

Additionally, if there is evidence of liver disease or dysfunction, veterinarians suggest using only 25-50% of the recommended dose of maropitant for dogs.

What are some important potential drug interactions when using maropitant in dogs?

Ketoconazole, fluconazole, cimetidine, fluoxetine, and chloramphenicol may all decrease metabolism which would, in turn, lead to increased maropitant concentrations and potential overdose.

Conversely, phenobarbital may increase metabolism, which could reduce the effectiveness of maropitant for dogs.

What are the pros and cons of using maropitant in dogs?

The pros of using maropitant for dogs include the fact that it is a very effective anti-emetic, suppresses coughing, and can be used as a visceral analgesic. The main cons of maropitant are that use in puppies less than 16 weeks of age is not well studied and there are potential drug interactions that should be considered before administering maropitant to a dog.

If you are considering maropitant for your dog, discuss the pros and cons with your veterinarian to see if it is the right drug for your dog's individual needs.


In closing, maropitant (Cerenia®) is a relatively new drug that is becoming increasingly popular in veterinary medicine, especially for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Maropitant is well tolerated by dogs with minimal side effects and can also be used to suppress coughing and as a visceral analgesic. There are some potential drug interactions that should be considered before administering maropitant to a dog, and use in puppies less than 16 weeks of age is not well studied, but overall maropitant is a safe and effective drug for dogs. If you have any questions about how maropitant can help your dog, please contact your veterinarian as they will be happy to help!