At the very end of March 2023, the FDA approved the first generic Cerenia (maropitant citrate pills), which is used to prevent vomiting in dogs (and cats). This is exceptional news because brand-name Cerenia is expensive ... at least it was when we tried using it for Tori's unrelenting carsickness. (Hint: It didn't work.) Here's what we know about the new generic Cerenia.
Generic Cerenia (maropitant citrate) Details
First approved in 2007, the brand-name Cerenia became kind of a game-changer in preventing vomiting in dogs. When it works, it works quite well. Essentially, with the approval of a generic Cerenia (finally!), the FDA allows the generic pills on the market, noting that:
- Generic Cerenia contains the same concentration and dosage of the active ingredient (maropitant citrate) as the original.
- Generic Cerenia contains no inactive ingredients that significantly affect the bioavailability of the active ingredient.
The generic version got "sponsored" by a company called ZyVet Animal Health, which has almost no online presence that I could easily find, which is a little weird, so I won't link to what I found.
Ideally, the generic Cerenia should be more affordable. A quick check online reveals that the brand-name version costs between $7.50 and $16.75 per pill, depending on dosage. It looks like the generic Cerenia might not yet be mass produced. I can only find it from a compounding pharmacy online for around $1.56 per pill (for the lowest dose).
Generic Cerenia Still Requires a Veterinary Prescription
For a number of reasons, including that it should only be used in pets in certain cases that only DVMs understand ... plus, some people develop allergic reactions from handling and administering maropitant citrate, you still need a veterinary prescription to access the new generic Cerenia.
So if your dog (or cat) needs it, check with your DVM about getting the more affordable generic version.
Apparently, it also causes eye irritation, so be careful about that. And, wash your hands really well after handling the pills.
Our Experience With Cerenia for a Carsick Dog
One of the side-effects of Cerenia or generic Cerenia (maropitant citrate) is drooling. As a puppy, our Tori drooled so much that we brought several full-sized bath towels in the car to soak it all up. Granted, carsickness also causes drooling, but it was comically epic how much such a tiny puppy drooled. She may not have vomited in the car, but she remained absolutely miserable and could not even really take part in puppy classes. So, basically, it did NOT work for Tori. Honestly, that was fine because at the time, the pills were like $20 each, and that is just NOT affordable for regular use.
Eventually, we went to a combo of CBD and a generic OTC med called meclizine. I give that about an hour before getting in the car. For most trips TO TOWN (10 miles, 20 minutes in a steep, winding canyon), Tori does fine with that combo. The problem, though, is coming home, especially if it's a quick trip down and back. Tori often still vomits in the car on the way home ... even if I give her a second dose of CBD and meclizine. She barfed on the way home from the veterinary hospital last week! So, it's still a thing in her life, and maybe it always will be.