Cerenia for Dogs | Wag! (2024)

Cerenia for dogs is an anti-emetic used to treat vomiting and motion sickness. Approved by the FDA for use in dogs, it’s available via a prescription from your veterinarian.

If Cerenia has been prescribed to help control your dog’s vomiting or motion sickness, keep reading to find out about Cerenia dosage amounts, efficacy, and potential side effects.


Cerenia is available in tablet form or as an injectable solution. The dosage amount of Cerenia varies depending on the age of your dog, the condition being treated, and whether the dog is receiving the injectable or tablet form of the medication.

Caution should be exercised when administering Cerenia as topical exposure can result in allergic skin reactions.

Dosage instructions

Cerenia should be administered in line with the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian.

Dosage instructions for Cerenia tablets are as follows:

  • Dogs aged 2 to 7 months: minimum dose of 0.9 mg per pound once a day for up to 5 consecutive days.

  • Dogs aged 7+ months: minimum dose of 0.9 mg per pound once a day until vomiting subsides.

  • To treat vomiting due to motion sickness in dogs aged 4+ months: minimum dose of 3.6 mg per pound once daily for up to 2 consecutive days. Tablets should be given with a small amount of food a minimum of 2 hours before travel.


Cerenia (maropitant citrate) is a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist used to control nausea and vomiting in dogs. It works by inhibiting Substance P, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the vomiting process.

In a study of dogs undergoing an ovariohysterectomy or a routine castration, Cerenia injectable solution significantly reduced nausea and vomiting in dogs who had been pre-medicated with morphine. It also ensured a much faster return to feeding than placebo-treated dogs, and provided a better quality of recovery (as shown by reduced aimless movements, vocalization, and panting in patients). However, it didn’t have any significant effect on the speed of recovery or the attitude of dogs during recovery.

In a Colorado State University study, maropitant was compared with morphine as a pre-anesthetic agent for dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. While there were no major differences in cardiorespiratory parameters or anesthetic requirements between the two drugs, roughly 65% of dogs given maropitant returned to eating 3 hours after extubation, as opposed to just over 15% of dogs who received morphine.

In terms of its use as an anti-emetic, maropitant has been shown to be more effective than metoclopramide at treating ongoing emesis. While 71% of dogs who received metoclopramide did not vomit after treatment, the number was much higher (97%) in dogs that received maropitant.

In dogs that suffer from motion sickness, maropitant was shown to reduce the occurrence of vomiting due to motion sickness compared to placebo by:

  • 86.1% when given 2 hours prior to car travel

  • 76.5% when given 10 hours prior to car travel


The cost of Cerenia depends on the dosage strength. A quantity of four tablets ranges in price from $15 to $50. Cerenia is available in 16 mg, 24 mg, 60 mg, and 160 mg strengths.

Side effects

While side effects are uncommon, Cerenia for dogs can potentially cause:

  • Vomiting

  • Lethargy

  • Drowsiness

  • Muscle tremors

  • Anorexia

  • Diarrhea

  • Loss of appetite

  • Drooling

  • Pain and swelling (at the injection site if injectable Cerenia is given)

Consult your veterinarian if you think your dog may be experiencing any side effects of Cerenia.


Cerenia for dogs can potentially interact with other medications your dog is taking concurrently. It must also be used with caution in dogs with specific health issues and medical conditions. Your veterinarian must have a full picture of your pet’s medical history before prescribing Cerenia for your dog.

Drug interactions

Cerenia for dogs can interact with some medications, such as:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

  • Seizure medications (such as phenobarbital)

  • Antibiotics (such as chloramphenicol)

  • Anti-fungal medications (such as ketoconazole)

  • Thyroid hormone supplements

It’s essential that you inform your veterinarian of all other medications your dog is currently taking.

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Dogs who are allergic to maropitant citrate should never be given Cerenia. Cerenia tablets can only be used in dogs 2 months and older for acute vomiting, and in dogs 4 months and older for the prevention of vomiting due to motion sickness.

Its safety has not been evaluated in dogs with a gastrointestinal obstruction or that have ingested toxins.

Finally, Cerenia for dogs should be used with caution in pets with heart disease or liver disease, as well as in dogs that are pregnant or nursing.

Frequently asked questions

Does my dog need a prescription to take Cerenia?

Yes. Cerenia is restricted to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

How should Cerenia tablets be stored?

Store tablets at room temperature away from moisture. They should also be kept out of the reach of children.

What should I do if my dog has an adverse reaction to Cerenia?

If your pet has an overdose or experiences an adverse reaction, seek emergency veterinary medical attention.

Cerenia for Dogs | Wag! (2024)
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