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Spinetoram is an antiparasitic active ingredient used in veterinary medicine in cats against fleas. It is also used against agricultural pests. It belongs to the chemical class of the spinosyns.

Common name: SPINETORAM

Type: Pesticide or veterinary medicine, depending on usage
Chemical class: spinosyn


Molecular structure of SPINETORAM





a mixture of 3'-O-ethyl-5,6-dihydro spinosyn J (left) and 3'-O-ethyl spinosyn L (right)


Type of action: Contact and systemic insecticide
Main veterinary parasites controlled: fleas

Efficacy against a specific parasite depends on the delivery form and on the dose administered.

Click here for general information on features and characteristics of PARASITICIDES.


Spinetoram is exclusively used as a spot-on against fleas in cats. So far it is not used in dogs or livestock.

The table below indicates some usual dosing recommendations for spinetoram issued by manufacturers or documented in the scientific literature. They may not be approved in some countries.

Dosing recommendations for SPINETORAM
Delivery Parasites Dose (against spinetoram-susceptible parasites)
Spot-on Fleas 37,6-376 mg/kg, dep. on animal's weight

DISCLAIMER: Liability is denied for any possible damage or harm to persons, animals or any other goods that could follow the transmission or use of the information, data or recommendations in this site by any site visitor or third parties.

Dosing recommendations for antiparasitics depend on national regulations. National regulatory authorities determine whether a product is approved for a given indication, i.e. use on a particular host at a specific dose and against a specific parasiteCheck the labels of the products available in your country for specific information on approved indications.


Oral LD50, rat, acute*: >5000 mg/kg
Dermal LD50, rat, acute*: >5000 mg/kg
* These values refer to the active ingredient. Toxicity has to be determined for each formulation as well. Formulations are usually significantly less toxic than the active ingredients.

MRL (maximum residue limit): Not applicable: not approved for livestock
Withholding periods for meat, milk, eggs: Not applicable: not approved for livestock

General safety information for antiparasitics is available in specific articles in this site (click to visit):


Never use agricultural or hygiene products with this or any other active ingredient on livestock or pets, even if there are veterinary products with this same active ingredient approved for use on animals. The formulations for agricultural or hygiene use are different and may be toxic for livestock or pets.

It is obvious that veterinary products are not intended for and should never be used on humans!!!


Decade of introduction: 2000
Patent: Expired (particular formulations may be still patent-protected)

Use in
DOGS and CATS: Yes, still scarce, so far only in cats

Main delivery forms:

Use in human medicine: No
Use in
public/domestic hygiene: No
Use in
agriculture: Yes
Generics available:
Very few


On pets: No


Spinetoram is a semi-synthetic derivative of spinosad, a natural insecticide extracted from cultures of Saccharopolyspora spinosa, a soil bacterium.

So far its only veterinary use is in cats in a classic spot-on for monthly treatment and prevention of flea infestations.

Pharmacokinetics of spinetoram

Spinetoram is only poorly absorbed through the skin of mammals (<5% in rats). Cats may ingest spinetoram through licking or grooming. Ingested spinetoram is quickly absorbed and rapidly distributed throughout the host's body. Maximum concentrations are found in the gastrointestinal tract, fat, carcass and liver. It is also quickly excreted, mainly in the form of various metabolites, 85% through feces, mostly during 24 hours after administration.

Mechanism of action of spinetoram

The molecular mechanism of action of spinetoram has not yet been completely elucidated. As other spinosyns it acts on both GABA and nicotinic receptors of the nerve cell membranes of insects, but it targets different subunits than other known insecticides. The good news is that spinetoram has no cross-resistance with other currently available chemical classes of insecticides.

Click here to view the list of all technical summaries of antiparasitic active ingredients in this site.