Whole Dog Journal's Blog January 9, 2012

Novartis Suspends Production of Interceptor and Sentinel

Posted at 12:06PM - Comments: (14)

If you use these products, you may need to find alternatives.

It seems like every time I turn around these days, I hear about another drug shortage (more on that topic in an upcoming WDJ article). This time, it’s Novartis Animal Health announcing in late December that it has suspended production of Interceptor, Sentinel, and other drugs while its manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, undergoes “voluntary” improvements. Numerous human and animal over-the-counter drugs are manufactured at this plant. According to reports, the company hopes to know in January when production will be resumed.

If you currently use either of these products, you may need to find a substitute, at least temporarily. Interceptor is a monthly heartworm preventive medication; it should be easy to switch to Heartgard (or generic equivalent), Revolution, or the newer Advantage Multi. Be sure to purchase these from a reliable source to avoid potentially ineffective counterfeit products. See “When Buying Veterinary Drugs Online, Look for Accredited Sites,” (WDJ June 2011)

Sentinel is a combination of Interceptor (milbemycin oxime) and Program (lufenuron), an insect growth regulator that prevents fleas that bite your dog from producing viable offspring, and therefore can be useful in combating a flea infestation. Program is manufactured by Novartis and is therefore almost certainly one of the other products whose production has been suspended. If you don’t have fleas, you don’t need to use lufenuron.

If you do have a flea problem, you can switch to flea and tick products that contain their own insect growth regulators. Advantage II and Advantix II use pyriproxyfen (Nylar), while Frontline Plus and Certifect use S-methoprene (Precor). For more information on these products, see "New Flea and Tick Products Hit the Market" (WDJ December 2011).

News source:

Novartis temporarily suspends production of Interceptor, Sentinel

Comments (10)

This is the most distressing situation. As I write this it is the end of July 2013. I had no idea Novartis was so awful, based now on what I've read (thanks for the links). So, it seems although I have spent the last days moaning over the loss of Interceptor, now I am wondering why I would want to even give THAT to my pup, although it is the lesser of the evils. Of late looking for it online leads to places that divert you to Sentinel---with the flea crap in it. I called Novartis myself and spoke to an arrogant and disinterested rep. I have a few of the darn Interceptors left from last year (I delayed heartworm testing until now) so although expired in January, I am assuming they are still potent enough...and enough to left at 6 week intervals per Dr Dodds suggestions, to the end of this season. Please, if you see this, contact the pharmacy at KV Vet Supply and encourage them to make the generic of plain interceptor and/or the cookies that used to be filaribits which were daily cookies with diethylcarbamazine (sp?). We have to fight this!!!

Posted by: robin r | July 25, 2013 11:40 PM    Report this comment

I called my vet. They received a letter from the company saying that the manufacturing plant will only be closed down for two weeks for cleaning and decontamination (maintenance). They suggested that the vets distribute the meds one tab at a time to avoid running out (hence the shortage panic that is spreading). My vet has plenty on hand and they checked with PedMeds who are also well stocked. Once the plant has been cleaned, it will re-open and regular production will start again. There is currently no shortage of medication and it will continue to be produced going forward.

Posted by: Miniac1 | January 11, 2012 12:23 PM    Report this comment

would it be better to purchase product now or wait to make sure there are no problems?

Posted by: betsyg | January 11, 2012 10:12 AM    Report this comment

Regarding the mdr1 mutation... *all* standard HW drugs are on the mdr1 list, not just ivermectin. (Don't know about Trifexis though.) The problem with ivermectin, as noted, is when it's given at "mange" doses.

Posted by: LISA T | January 10, 2012 7:02 PM    Report this comment

I'd like to offer my recipe for a non-toxic flea repellent.
Quantities below are for a 10-20 lb dog; increase according to your dog's size. To be used as a rinse after bathing:
16 oz warm water
1 tsp Epsom salt
2 drops therapeutic grade essential oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus
2 drops therapeutic grade essential oil of Lavender
Drop the essential oils into the dry Epsom salts and then add this to the warm water and mix well right before bathing your dog.
After the bath pour the mixture over your dog and leave on to dry.
I hope you find this as effective as I have. We haven't seen a flea since using this formula.
I also recommend a raw food diet with leafy greens and veggies, some fruit and good quality meat. A healthy dog is a deterrent to fleas.

Posted by: Becky and Buddy | January 10, 2012 6:42 PM    Report this comment

After your January article "Sour Greats" - why would you recommend any of this stuff? If a person loves their dog, don't give it poison.

Posted by: Calirose | January 10, 2012 2:07 PM    Report this comment

In regards to Trifexis, their new product, there have been alot of complaints about this medication causing severe barfing in dogs, even when given with food. I thought about switching to it, but my dog already has a sensitive stomach.

Posted by: R. G | January 10, 2012 11:44 AM    Report this comment

As always, buyer beware! Thanks for the information.

Posted by: Carolyn M | January 10, 2012 10:49 AM    Report this comment

I wonder if this "shortage" has to do with the introduction of "Trifexis" which is also made by the same company, but kills fleas instead of just sterilizing. And to re-iterate Diane B. It can cause seizures in dogs already prone to having them.

Posted by: Dress-A-Bull | January 10, 2012 9:33 AM    Report this comment

As people consider replacements for Interceptor, it is VERY IMPORTANT for people to know that one of the most popular alternatives, Ivermectin, is deadly for some breeds (breeds that have a certain gene-- see this blog post for more details: dianes-dog-blog.blogspot.com/2010/08/is-your-dog-at-risk-for-ivemectin.html )

Posted by: DIANE B | January 10, 2012 9:24 AM    Report this comment

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