Cerenia(®) can provide quick and easy relief when sickness strikes! Cerenia, which contains the active ingredient “maropitant” is a medicine which can be injected or given orally to control vomiting or motion sickness in dogs 8 weeks of age and older. The drug is able to achieve its effects by preventing “Substance P” (a type of peptide) from binding to the NK1 receptor.

What’s The Dosage For Dogs?

Note: Speak to your vet before giving your dog Cerenia.

Cerenia can be administered in two ways, either by injecting the medicine under the dog’s skin (subcutaneous injection) or by having the dog swallow the pills. The injections work much faster and are often used to control acute cases of vomiting whereas the pills take a little longer to begin working but are more comfortable.


Pills should be given 2 hours before nausea and vomiting is expected. A dosage of 0.09 mg/lb (2 mg/kg) is recommended for controlling acute vomiting while a higher dose of 3.6 mg/lb (8 mg/kg) may be used to prevent nausea when travelling. Pills are supplied in strengths of 16, 24, 60 and 160 mg.


Shots should be administered an hour before vomiting is expected at a dosage of 0.45 mg/lb in dogs 8 weeks and older. The Cerenia injectable solution usually contains 10 mg of maropitant per mL (but always check the label just to be sure), at this concentration you should administer 1 mL for every 22 pounds your dog weighs (1 mL per 10 kg). This dose can be repeated once per day for up to 5 days.

Keep the solution refrigerated to reduce the pain of injection.

General guidelines for use:

  • Do not wrap pills tightly or embed into food
  • Feed a light snack one hour before administering the medicine

Refer to the tables below for the recommended dosage for the treatment of acute vomiting and motion sickness.


Weight of dog (lbs)

Pills to use (per dose)

2.2 – 8.8½ 16 mg tablet
8.9 – 17.6One 16 mg tablet
17.7 – 26.4One 24 mg tablet
26.5 – 52.8Two 24 mg tablets
52.9 – 66One 60 mg tablet
66.1 – 132Two 60 mg tablets
Over 132Discuss with your vet

When treating acute cases of vomiting doses may be given once daily for up to 5 consecutive days. Dogs treated at the above dosage must be at least 8 weeks old.


Weight of dog (lbs)

Pills to use (per dose)

2.2½ 16 mg tablet
2.3 – 3.3½ 24 mg tablet
3.4 – 4.4One 16 mg tablet
4.5 – 6.6One 24 mg tablet
6.7 – 8.8Two 16 mg tablets
8.9 – 13.2Two 24 mg tablets
13.3 – 16.5One 60 mg tablet
16.6 – 22½ 160 mg tablet
22.1 – 33Two 60 mg tablets
33.1 – 44One 160 mg tablet
44.1 – 661 160 mg tablet + ½ 160 mg tablet
66.1 – 88Two 160 mg tablets
88.1 – 132Three 160 mg tablets
Over 132Discuss with your vet

At this dosage you should give the medicine once daily to a dog who is at least 16 weeks or older. A maximum treatment duration of 2 consecutive days is recommended.

Example: Using the tablets to prevent nausea, a 90 lb dog would need three 160 mg tablets. These would be given 2 hours before travelling.

Is It Safe?

Cerenia has few side effects and is well tolerated in large amounts in dogs who are at least 8 weeks of age (16 weeks if you use the motion sickness dosage). Dogs who received three times the travel sickness dose for long periods of time did not experience serious adverse effects, however, when doses of 40 mg/kg (18.2 mg/lb) to 50 mg/kg (22.7 mg/lb) were given to dogs in studies hypokalemia and leukopenia occurred. The injectable solution and oral tablets are approved by the FDA for use in animals under application numbers 141-262 and 141-263.

A dog may be unsuitable for treatment if they have poor liver function or if they are taking highly protein bound medicines/supplements.
Pregnancy/Nursing: The safety of maropitant (Cerenia’s active ingredient) when given to pregnant or lactating dogs has not yet been determined. We recommend avoiding use in pregnant or nursing pets unless your vet tells you otherwise.

Safety Guidelines

Try not to exceed the recommended maximum duration of treatment. For example when using the lower 0.45 mg/lb dose it should not be used for more than 5 consecutive days. At the higher dose for travel sickness it should not be used for more than 2 days in a row.

You should also make sure that your pet is old enough to take the medicine. Dogs treated with the 0.45 mg/lb dosage should be 8 weeks old at least, whereas a minimum age of 16 weeks is recommended when using the higher amounts required for preventing nausea. Drugs.com recommends a minimum age of 10 weeks instead of 8 when the injectable form is used.


Cerenia can treat the following conditions:

  • Acute vomiting
  • Travel sickness

In some dogs the drug may not be effective.

Side Effects

A dog treated with Cerenia could experience these adverse effects:
More Common

  • Vomiting*
  • Diarrhea
  • Salivation
  • Weight loss


  • Fatigue
  • Trembling
  • Loss of coordination

* The risk can be reduced by feeding your dog a light snack an hour before giving them the medicine.


An acute overdose will not often cause serious complications. Use beyond the recommended duration of treatment is also likely to be safe if a normal dosage is used. In some studies dogs were been given 2.27 mg/lb every 24 hours for 93 days with no complications.

At very high doses of 18.1 – 22.7 mg/lb once daily the following adverse effects occurred:

  • Decreased heart rate
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Emesis
  • Diarrhea
  • Salivation
  • Hypokalemia
  • Leukopenia

If your dog has received an overdose contact your vet immediately for advice on how to proceed.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Official Cerenia website
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook (sixth edition)
Zoetis (manufacturer)