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Has anyone had a bad reaction to Cheristin flea meds?

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

Vet just gave me this for cats, I've always used Frontline or Revolution (which I can only get by prescription).   Apparently there were so many complaints of Frontline no longer being effective, they switched to Cheristin.


I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with this med - I don't want to use if it's causing bad reactions.

post #2 of 89
Thread Starter 

So... nobody here has heard of this stuff - or perhaps no one has seen a bad reaction???

post #3 of 89
I'm sorry; I've never heard of that one before.
post #4 of 89
I've never heard of it either.
post #5 of 89
I've never heard of it either.
post #6 of 89

It's actually brand new.

Cheristan is the same company who makes Comfortis flea med pills, (Elanco) my vet said it's the same but in a topical rather than pill form as Comfortis is.


Supposed to be great!

post #7 of 89
My vet also recently started recommending Cheristin after many clients started having trouble with fleas resistant to Advantage and Frontline. My cats have been on Advantage, which worked up until about a month ago. According to the vet, Cheristin is relatively new and they have only been carrying it for about 6 months. They said it seems to be gentler to cats than Advantage or Frontline, based on the feedback so far. I got some earlier and put it on my four cats about 12 hours ago. No reactions so far.
post #8 of 89

Here's a comparison of Advantage II, Cheristin, and Easy Spot (same main ingredient as Frontline, but without the Plus).  I have not used Cheristin because I feel safe with Advantage and Advantage II, plus I have too many cats to use something that can only be purchased by the individual cat dose.  I would rather stick with Advantage and apply it more frequently in summer when fleas are worst as needed since it only costs from $1 to $2 per cat dose when purchased in bulk, versus $15 or more per dose for the Cheristin.  This matters when treating an average of 15 cats every month.


In addiition, this is only the second summer Cheristin has been around so like you, I certainly want to see if there are bad reactions to it from sensitive cats.


There is another chart like this available comparing Advantage Multi with Cheristin and Frontline Plus, but I have known several cats seriously sensitive to the moxidectin in Advantage Multi (neurological toxicity) so I will not use it on any of my animals.


The active ingredient in the Cheristin is the same as in Comfortis, only it's a topical instead of a pill.  I've heard one person who has had success simply by switching around between the medicines to keep the fleas off guard in her area.

post #9 of 89

We have 10 cats and started using this 2 months ago and so far it has worked very well.  Have not had any issues so far with the product . 

post #10 of 89

I tried this on some kittens that I have when the Advantage did nothing. They were covered with fleas. The Cheristin worked great and quickly. I was so impressed I bought a package of six.


I used the Cheristin on my two adult cats. Good results on the first cat, although I gave her a reduced dose because she is sensitive. When I gave it to the male cat, he immediately put his head down. I tried to wipe it off, but couldn't get all of it off. the next day the poor little guy was still wobbly. Worse yet, within a week he had fleas again. I will never, ever give this medicine to him or to any cat. The two kittens ( who are 9 months old and each one weighs 10 lbs.) did not have a reaction.


Now I am using Capstar and lufenuron, which has worked so far except I just discovered a large tick on his head. We live in Central Florida. Flea control is a must. I am really afraid to use topicals on him. He has never had Frontline, but he didn't do that well on Advantage either. Any advice would be helpful.

post #11 of 89
Does petsmart sell cheristin?
post #12 of 89

Do NOT use this product!  My cat was in to the vet in May 2015 because his Frontline Flea med wasn't working well and he was so itchy.   The vet gave my Simba a sample of Cheristin.  24 hours later there wasn't a flea within miles of my cat.  But when the fleas went away, the scratching continued and got worse- MUCH WORSE.  Picture my fluffy chubby orange haired cat scratching around the clock and so miserable that he began to actually pull his fur out by the roots!  It was horrifying.  The Vet was certain the problem was not the Cheristin.  It didn't get better.  


By the time Simba was due for his monthly allergy med in June, he was getting worse and now the fleas were coming back.  He was missing most of the fur on his tummy, and patches of bald skin were showing in other places too. I didn't want him to be any more miserable than he already was, so I used a second sample of the Cheristin so that at least on top of all his itch issues, he didn't have fleas.  Once again, fleas were gone in 24 hours but my Simba was even worse. He was loosing weight, scratching around the clock and ripping large chunks of hair out by the roots.  The vet prescribed something to help Simba relax, but then he was just a drousy cat scratching around the clock and ripping chunks of fur out.  We would check on him to find small piles of fur everywhere.  


The vet suggested that I take him to a animal dermatologist that practiced two hours from my home.  In desperation, I made an appointment. But, it would be weeks before he could be seen there.


By July, I had been back and forth to the vet many times.  Simba was furless on his legs, ears, spotches of his back, tummy, and tail.  He had lost a couple of pounds and had completely lost his usually personality.  He was on Prednisolone for the itch but it didn't help.  I had to go out of town for a couple of days, and I actually instructed my family where to bury him while I was gone because I didn't expect him to live.  At this point, I had him in a cone collar to try to prevent the scratching, but he would just rub so intently on anything around him that his skin would bleed.  His skin was scabby, crusty, and flaking like nothing I had ever seen before.  


Early August, I finally got my Simba to the animal dermatologist who had no idea what could possibly be going on with my poor cat.  He was almost completely bald, still scabby, crusty, flaking and bleeding from rubbing so hard that his fur was gone.  He looked sick and was down at least 3 lbs in weight.  


The animal dermatologist did a skin biopsy and looked at the results of all the previous blood work that had been done on Simba with our own vet.  A week later, she called to tell me that the results of the skin biopsy showed Simba had a severe drug reaction.  Since the only drug Simba had been taking was Cheristin, it had to be the Cheristin.  This vet suggested that I keep him on Prednisolone, which he had been given by our own vet.  


But, Nothing helped.  Simba continued to loose weight and was completely miserable with the scratching and sore skin.  After several weeks of the Prednisolone, the animal dermatologist suggested I try Atopica for the itching.  I was told it would take a couple of weeks to make a difference.  But, by day 3 we could see huge changes in Simba.  He wanted to spend time with us again as his personality was returning.  He could sit quietly for a couple of hours without scratching, although I was hesitant to remove the cone collar for fear that we would look away for a few minutes and he would start at the scratching again.  But, now we are into the second week of September and he has been on the Atopica for two weeks.  


I have my cat back!  Well, sort of.  He still is missing fur in a few places, but has begun to grow short fur in most of the previously bald spots.  He wants to be cuddled and held.  He keeps getting into things he knows he shouldn't as he is getting bored in the house.  I'm hesitant to let him go outside just yet.  I don't want him to get cold without his usual coat of thick fur.  And, I'm just plain over protective of him now.  


I'm lucky my cat survived this horrible drug!


I would NEVER EVER use Cheristin for any pet again.  In fact, one of the vets that has treated my Simba told me something frightening about this product.  I was told that Cheristin isn't really new.  The active ingredient was on the market a couple of years ago under a different drug name, but they had to take it off the market because of all the problems it was causing.  Vets words, "it was reformulated and released under the name Cheristin".  Only problem here is is that it still contains the same active ingredient.


Do NOT use this product!  

post #13 of 89

Wow thanks for the warning! My aunt thanks cheristin is the only antiflea med that works. You never know with these drugs how a cat might react. Decided to trIy Advantage 2 because it says  kills larvae and eggs as well as adult fleas, while frontline and cherisitin do not. It may not work but if it does it might control the flea situation better. Scary about the active ingredient in cheristin causing problems in past, under different name. So, I'm guessing you finally got rid of the fleas? My cats hardly step outside for long maybe once a week 10 minutes, I brush them. Think the fleas might have come in through the windows which are on ground level. That or the kitten I took in few months ago had some fleas that went undetected. Wish I knew how we got them. thinking of getting flea traps as well and wonder if they will help. Hope you and Simba have fun together and he stays feeling well, know what it's like when they are not themselves. It's so sad to see, and such a relief when they start feeling better.

post #14 of 89
Where do you get Advantage for $1-$2 per cat even when purchasing by bulk?
post #15 of 89

You buy the Extra Large Dog size on eBay, and you use a syringe to measure the proper amount per cat.  You can choose a 6-pack or a 4-pack, auction is usually cheaper than Buy It Now. 

Advantage II is the exact same formula for cats and dogs, unlike Bayer's other products AdvanTIX which is dogs only, poisonous to cats, and Advantage Multi, which has the same amount of the flea killer for cats and dogs but a DIFFERENT amount of the medicine that kills worms and heartworms. 


If you were buying the cat size, you would get 0.4 ml in each vial

If you are buying the extra large dog size, you get 4.0 ml in each vial.

That is ten times as much for what is usually the same price.

Assuming you pay $10 per vial (and you can do better with the 6-packs usually), then 10 cat doses would cost you $1 each


I'd be glad to send you the dosage chart, which is by weight, and covers both cat and dog dosages.  Many people who have both cats and dogs do it this way, and most of us in rescue also do it this way.

post #16 of 89

I have been using Cheristin for o two years because Frontline and Advantage were no longer working.    The only reaction I have had is an absence of any sign of fleas in my indoor/outdoor multi-cat household in Florida.   It has been a Godsend.

post #17 of 89
Thank You very much for the info, I appreciate it.
post #18 of 89

My 14 y/o female with history of hyperthyroid .. Recently treated with Cheristin. Vomiting, diarrhea, dramatically elevated CK (from 400 elevated to 4000) within one day of application. It is a neurotoxin, she grows increasingly paralyzed and has almost completely lost function of her hind legs. It will kill her within the week. in other words, don't give to an elderly cat with history of hyperthyroid, even if it has been treated, and any underlying Chronic disease. it will kill your cat.

post #19 of 89
@catchild, I am so sorry to hear about your kitty! Is she currently under vet care? On IV fluids to flush her system? Getting meds to combat her symptoms?

Our rescue has experience with cats poisoned with flea medication (typically having had dog flea meds administered instead of cat, or someone using Hartz); but, if medical treatment is given quickly, there is the possibility they can pull through.

Most of the ones lost is a result of seizures that they cannot be recovered from.
post #20 of 89
Thread Starter 
Catchild, I am so, so sorry for what you are going through with your kitty.
post #21 of 89

Have used Advantage successfully with amazing results within less

then 24 hours with my Tuxedo who was infested and uncomfortable

with the fleas biting him.  Was also losing hair on his back.  Tuxedo

is back to being the healthy kitty with hair grown back and a happy

Affectionate Maine Coon. Also, no prescription needed.  My first

attempt to purchase at Walmart was unsuccessful (all sold out).

Went on the internet and purchased at amazon with free shipping.

Have your kitty tested for heart worm, because he/she probably

ate some fleas.  Hope this helps a bit.

post #22 of 89

Thank you for your painstaking description of what your poor Simba has gone through!  In reading all the other stories I feel bad for the cat's suffering.  I always wonder why nobody has tried something natural instead of these chemicals, even though in some cats, there are no bad reactions.  It's still a chemical and it's a poison.  Hasn't anybody tried Diatomaceous Earth?  It's very safe for topical application and safe for ingestion. It kills fleas and ticks plus if ingested (put some in their food), it kills internal parasites, as well.  It's safe for humans, too, to take internally.


Just always get the food grade.  Put it in an old spice bottle and use the tiny holes to shake it on your cat (or dogs) and rub it down to the skin.  Put it in a bag of dry food and shake it up or a pinch in wet food to get rid of worms.  My cats are inside cats (which brings up another topic).  If you let your cats outside, then they DO have worms, but they are much safer as inside cats for many dangers, not just fleas and worms. 


Don't take my word for it, do a search on the internet and read about Diatomaceous Earth use.  I'm all for natural means to medicate myself and animals.  Even rubbing mint leaves on an animal will deter flea & ticks, but to kill them, use D.E.  I just feel really bad for all those cats suffering and I had to jump on here to let people know. 

post #23 of 89

I have used this for months and works great . Have had no issues with it 

post #24 of 89

I have been giving my cat this for over a year..the only side effects she has to it is..she acts strange for a day.  She just curls up alot and stays by herself.  I am thinking it's the smell that bothers her.

post #25 of 89

Does your cat isolate herself for a day or so?  Does she act strange at all?

post #26 of 89

nothing bad

post #27 of 89
Thread Starter 
I never ended up giving it to them. My dog has acted lethargic like that with hers, which I discontinued.
post #28 of 89

If anyone is still interested, here is some information on Cheristin.  A few years ago, Elanco introduced a flea treatment for cats called Assurity.  My vet recommended it when Advantage stopped being very effective.  I put it on all 7 of my cats.    The treatment killed all fleas within a day, but on the second day i noticed that 4 of my cats had large bald spots at the application spot. I called my vet but she said she had not heard of any bad reactions.  I still didn't trust it, so I just used Advantage for the rest of the summer and it worked well enough for maintenance.  Last year I had flea problems again, so I thought I would use the same treatment, Assurity for the first application, then Advantage after.  When I tried to get Assurity at my vet's office, they didn't have it and didn't even remember the product.  (Huh?)  But they had a new product called Cheristin that they recommended.  I went home and did some research and this is what I found.  Assurity caused tons of bad side effects, from simple hair loss to death in cats.  In response, Elanco discontinued Assurity, decreased the amount of the active ingredient (Spinetoram) from 39.6% of the treatment content to 11.2%, and reintroduced the product under the name Cheristin.  I used Cheristin with great caution, keeping my cats under constant surveillance for about 2 days.  The treatment killed all fleas, and my cats had no bad reaction.  Still, I went ahead and used Advantage for the rest of the year and it worked just fine.  I am about to go buy Cheristin again, but will only use it on my two younger cats, as even the label warns against using it on elderly cats.  I wish Advantage still worked for me.  i don't really trust Bayer, either, though.  It's suspicious that once we cat owners figured out we could buy the dog size tubes for about 1/4 the price, suddenly they "reformulated" the dog treatment, making it unusable for cats.  Still, for a long time Advantage worked great with no side effects on my cats.  I am going to try diatomaceous earth on my 21-year-old cat, and see if it works.  No matter what you choose, READ THE LABELS.

post #29 of 89

I do not believe Bayer reformulated the product (Advantage II) but they changed the packaging to make it very scary.  The cat product says "do not use on dogs" and the dog product says "do not use on cats" yet the formula for each on Bayer's web site is still exactly the same, as it always was.  While their other products are not the same for cats and dogs (Advantage Multi, for instance, same ingredients for dogs and cats but different concentration of the moxidectin in each), I firmly believe this is just a marketing move by Bayer, because once people discovered they could get 10 times as much for the same price by buying the Extra Large Dog Advantage II, or that they didn't have to buy a separate product for each animal when they had a large dog, a medium dog and a cat, many folks opted for the less expensive route.  I certainly couldn't afford to pay cat advantage prices for 15-20 cats.  Vets were the one who told rescue groups about this.  Here are screenshots of the product label information from Bayer's web site.


Edited by Red Top Rescue - 4/26/16 at 7:44pm
post #30 of 89
I would love the cart. Thank you!
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