There’s starting to be a lot of talk about generic versions of Frontline that are hitting the market. The generic forms use fipronil, the primary active ingredient in Frontline. While available in places at close to half the price of the branded Frontline product, there still seem to be some concerns that need to be resolved. Here’s what I’ve heard, but can’t verify yet:
- The patent for part of the formula expired, but not the carrier that distributes the product over the animal’s body, so generic forms are using a different carrier, which has not yet proven its level of effectiveness.
- The patent for Frontline expired, but not Frontline Plus, the version that kills flea eggs and larvae in addition to adult fleas and ticks. Companies that have leveraged the Frontline Plus formula may be pursued by Merial to discontinue production.
- Some veterinarians are reporting more incidents of side effects, such as lethargy from dogs that have been given a generic form.
- Some owners have reported feeling like the generic form is “greasier” than the standard Frontline.
Most veterinarians that I’ve heard from are cautious to advocate one way or the other.
Until the generic products are more widely available in the marketplace and therefore used on more pets, we probably won’t really know if there are any problems to be concerned about.
The first generic version to hit the market is called Pet Armor. Others are sure to follow.