What is Advocate?
Advocate is a clear yellow to brownish antiparasitic solution that contains two active substances, imidacloprid and moxidectin. Advocate comes in different strengths and pack sizes, depending on whether it is for use on cats, on ferrets or on dogs, and on the size of the animal being treated.
for the treatment of biting-lice infestations in dogs;
for the treatment of skin diseases in dogs caused by parasitic mites (sarcoptic mange and demodicosis);
for the prevention of heartworm disease in cats, ferrets and dogs;
for the treatment of French-heartworm disease in dogs;
for the treatment of infections with certain gastrointestinal roundworms in cats and dogs (as specified in the package leaflet).
The package leaflet includes detailed information on how long the product works against each parasite for, and how often Advocate treatments should be given.
Advocate is applied to cats, ferrets and dogs from prefilled spot-on pipettes. These are small plastic containers which are already filled with the correct amount of Advocate needed to treat one cat, ferret or dog. Advocate for cats is available in two differently sized pipettes for different cat weights. The smallest cat pipette is also used for ferrets. Advocate for dogs is available in four differently sized pipettes for different dog weights.
The contents of a full pipette is applied onto the animal’s skin, after parting the fur. In cats and ferrets, the product is applied to the animal’s neck at the base of the skull. In dogs, it is applied between the shoulder blades at the bottom of the dog’s head, but for large dogs (above 25 kg) the product should be applied in three or four spots along the dog’s back, whilst it is standing, from between its shoulder blades to the base of its tail.
How does Advocate work?
The two active substances in Advocate interact with receptors in the parasites. Imidacloprid interferes with certain specific receptors (nicotinergic acetylcholine receptors) in the nervous systems of lice and fleas, which results in their subsequent paralysis and death. Moxidectin interferes with different receptors (gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA] and glutamate-gated chloride channels) in the other parasites, leading to their paralysis, death and expulsion.
How has Advocate been studied?
Data were provided on the pharmaceutical quality and the tolerance of the products in cats, ferrets and dogs, the safety in humans (people in contact with the product) and the safety to the environment.
The effectiveness of the products against the specified parasites was investigated in laboratory studies. Subsequently the efficacy was confirmed in several field studies in cats and dogs, which were conducted in several different European geographical locations. Cats and dogs from various breeds, age groups and weights were treated. The effectiveness of the product was measured by looking at the number of live parasites at various times after treatment. Efficacy studies were also performed in ferrets.
What benefit has Advocate shown during the studies?
The results of the laboratory and field trials in cats, ferrets and dogs showed that Advocate is effective, when used as detailed in the package leaflet (see 'what is Advocate used for?' above, or for more details see the package leaflet).
What is the risk associated with Advocate?
In both cats and dogs, the most common side effects are local reactions at the place where the product has been applied, such as temporary itchiness, and
on rare occasions, greasy fur and redness of the skin. Vomiting has also occurred rarely. These signs disappear without further treatment. If a cat or dog licks the application area, it might salivate a lot for a short period and then might show signs such as a lack of muscular coordination, shaking, abnormal breathing and / or vomiting.
Although no side effects have been confirmed in ferrets, similar side effects could occur rarely.
Dogs and cats weighing less than 1 kg and ferrets weighing less than 0.8 kg should only be treated after special consideration by the veterinarian.
Advocate should not be used in young cats that are under nine weeks of age.
Advocate should not be used in young dogs that are under seven weeks of age.
As with other products of this type, Advocate should not be used in sick or ill animals. Advocate comes in different strengths and different pipette sizes depending on whether it is for use on cats, ferrets or dogs. It is very important that the cat products should only be used for cats, and the dog products for dogs. Only the product called 'Advocate spot-on solution for small cats and ferrets' should be used for ferrets. Advocate should not be used for any other animal species.
Advocate has harmful effects on aquatic organisms and so the product should not be allowed to enter ditches, ponds or streams. Dogs should not be allowed to swim in ditches, ponds or streams for four days after treatment.
What are the precautions for the person who gives the medicine or comes into contact with the animal?
The package leaflet should be read before use. As a precautionary measure, skin contact with the pipette contents should be avoided and animals should not be stroked or groomed until the application site is dry. When administering Advocate, the user should not smoke, eat or drink, and should wash their hands thoroughly after use. If accidental exposure occurs, the eyes should be rinsed with water or the skin washed with soap and water.
People with a known sensitivity to benzyl alcohol, imidacloprid or moxidectin should administer the product with caution.
The solvent in Advocate may stain certain materials including leather, fabrics, plastics and finished surfaces, so contact between the product and such surfaces should be avoided.
For dogs suffering from, or at risk from, mixed parasitic infections:
for the treatment and prevention of flea infestation (Ctenocephalides felis), treatment of biting lice (Trichodectes canis), treatment of ear-mite infestation (Otodectes cynotis), sarcoptic mange (caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis), demodicosis (caused by Demodex canis), prevention of heartworm disease (L3 and L4 larvae of Dirofilaria immitis), treatment of Angiostrongylus vasorum and treatment of infections with gastrointestinal nematodes (L4 larvae, immature adults and adults of Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala, adults of Toxascaris leonina and Trichuris vulpis).
The product can be used as part of a treatment strategy for flea-allergy dermatitis (FAD).
For cats suffering from, or at risk from, mixed parasitic infections:
for the treatment and prevention of flea infestation (Ctenocephalides felis), treatment of ear-mite infestation (Otodectes cynotis), prevention of heartworm disease (L3 and L4 larvae of Dirofilaria immitis) and treatment of infections with gastrointestinal nematodes (L4 larvae, immature adults and adults of Toxocara cati and Ancylostoma tubaeforme).
The product can be used as part of a treatment strategy for FAD.