NexGard Spectra®—New label indications for mites, flea tapeworm, and an additional hookworm species

NexGard SpectraThis article is sponsored content brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim.

NexGard Spectra, an endectocide containing afoxolaner (an isoxazoline) and milbemycin oxime (a macrocyclic lactone), was registered in 2017 to provide broad-spectrum protection against fleas, ticks (including paralysis ticks), heartworm, and gastrointestinal nematodes (roundworms, hookworms and whipworm). 

Subsequent to this registration, studies conducted and submitted to the APVMA for assessment have demonstrated the effectiveness of afoxolaner in NexGard Spectra against mites resulting in the addition of indications for the treatment and control of demodectic mange (caused by Demodex spp.), sarcoptic mange (caused by Sarcoptes scabiei), and otodectic mange (caused by Otodectes cynotis).1-3 

The NexGard Spectra label indications for the control of gastrointestinal worms have also been expanded to include two further species. Based on clinical studies, NexGard Spectra now has a label indication for the prevention of flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) infestations. Control of this parasite is achieved through the action of afoxolaner on the primary intermediate host, the flea. Reactivation and maturation of D. caninum metacestodes to an infective form takes place following infestation of a host by an adult flea. Afoxolaner, due to its rapid speed of kill for fleas, prevents maturation of the immature stage, and thereby prevents flea tapeworm infestation in dogs.4, 5 

NexGard Spectra has been demonstrated to control an additional species of hookworm, Ancylostoma ceylanicum, a parasite that has been noted as an emerging public health concern in parts of Australia, particularly tropical regions. As a zoonotic risk, A. ceylanicum is unique among the hookworms in that it not only has the potential for causing cutaneous larva migrans, but may also develop into adult worms in the intestine of humans, resulting in a patent infection. Due to their short pre-patent period (as little as two weeks), regular anthelmintic treatment of at-risk animals is recommended to provide optimal protection against hookworms.6, 7 

A full listing of current label indications for NexGard Spectra can be found in the following references below. See product label for full details and directions for use. If you have questions, speak with your Boehringer Ingelheim Territory Manager, call our Veterinary Medical Services Team on 1800 808 691, or email

NexGard Spectra® Updated Label Indications 

For the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, control of ticks and mites, prevention of heartworm, and treatment and control of intestinal worms in dogs and puppies from eight weeks of age. 

  • NexGard Spectra rapidly kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea (Ctenocephalides spp.) infestations, for the control of newly acquired adult fleas and for the control of flea allergy dermatitis. Following administration, fleas are killed within 6-8 hours. Rapid onset of action kills newly acquired fleas before they can lay eggs. Fleas can transmit flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum). Effective flea control with NexGard Spectra prevents flea tapeworm infestation in dogs.
  • NexGard Spectra treats and controls paralysis ticks (Ixodes holocyclus), brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) and bush ticks (Haemaphysalis longicornis) for one month. It provides effective control of pre-existing paralysis tick infestations within 24 hours. Ixodes holocyclus ticks do not occur in WA. In tick season, daily searching for, and removal of, any ticks found is recommended.
  • NexGard Spectra treats and controls demodectic mange caused by Demodex spp., sarcoptic mange caused by Sarcoptes scabiei and ear mite infestations.
  • NexGard Spectra prevents heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis and treats and controls roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina), hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum and A. ceylanicum) and whipworms (Trichuris vulpis).


1. Beugnet, F., et al (2016) Efficacy of afoxolaner in a clinical field study in dogs naturally infested with Sarcoptes scabiei. Parasite, 23, 26.

2. Carithers, D., et al (2016) Assessment of afoxolaner efficacy against Otodectes cynotis infestations of dogs. Parasit Vectors, 9(1), 635.

3. Lebon, W., et al (2018) Efficacy of two formulations of afoxolaner (NexGard® and NexGard Spectra®) for the treatment of generalised demodicosis in dogs, in veterinary dermatology referral centers in Europe. Parasit Vectors, 11(1), 506.

4. Beugnet, F., et al (2017) Preventive efficacy of NexGard Spectra® against Dipylidium caninum infection in dogs using a natural flea infestation model. Parasite, 24, 16.

5. Beugnet, F., et al (2015) Comparative speed of efficacy against Ctenocephalides felis of two oral treatments for dogs containing either afoxolaner or fluralaner. Vet Parasitol, 207(3-4), 297-301.

6. Tielemans, E., et al (2017) Efficacy of afoxolaner plus milbemycin oxime chewable tablets (NexGard Spectra®, Merial) against adult Ancylostoma ceylanicum hookworm, in dogs. Vet Parasitol, 238, 87-89.

7. Tropical Council for Companion Animal Parasites (2018) Guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and control of canine endoparasites in the tropics. 1st Edition.

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