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).