What molecule am I?
Spring is finally here. Tennyson wrote, “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” but these days, a pet owner’s fancy often turns to thoughts of controlling fleas on his or her furry friends.
Many treatments are in use to repel fleas (and ticks) from dogs and cats or to kill the insects once an infestation occurs: Treatments include topical powders and liquids, flea collars, and oral medications. All of these methods have advantages and disadvantages; the Internet is full of arguments for and against each.
In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of fluralaner (trade name Bravecto), a chewable tablet for dogs that is administered at 12-week intervals. This is a significant improvement to oral products that must be taken monthly. Fluralaner is a systemic insecticide that inhibits GABA-gated and l-glutamate-gated chloride channels in the insects’ nervous system.
FDA evidently considered the compounded product Bravecto to be safe enough for general use, but a glance at the hazard information box reveals that fluralaner itself is not to be handled carelessly. The dosage of fluralaner in Bravecto ranges from 112.5 mg to 1.4 g, depending on the weight of the dog to be treated. It can be inferred that even at the highest dose, Bravecto is deemed safe to be handled by the dog’s human companion.
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