Oral Flea Medication

Fleas can cause a lot of irritation and discomfort when they infest pets. While there are a variety of fleas treatments for pets, one of more popular options is oral flea medication. These tablets can be given to dogs and cats to quickly kill fleas on their body. This will give yours pet some relief from bites.

In this article, we will discus the two most popular oral flea medications and how they work.

oral flea medicationOral Tablets for Fleas

Oral flea medications can help pet owners eradicate and prevent fleas, as well as other parasites, that cause harm to their pets. The insecticidal effects will start to work shortly after the pills are ingested. As with many other drugs, the active ingredients in these flea tablets will be stored your pet’s bloodstream or fat cells. When fleas bite, they will then ingest the substance. Here are two of the most common active ingredients in oral flea meds:


Nitenpyram is the active ingredient found in Novartis Capstar flea medication. Once pets are given this tablet, the active ingredient circulates in blood. It is passed to fleas when they feed. Nitenpyram is a neurotoxin that will affect the biting mature fleas on your pet’s body. The chemical effectively blocks the neural messaging along the central nervous system. After ingestion, death for adult fleas is almost instant. Within a half hour it will start working, and after four hours all fleas should be dead. The effects of one treatment will last for up to 48 hours.


Lufenuron is used in the Program flea medication. When your pet is given this oral tablet, the active ingredient in stored in fat cells, and passed to adult fleas when they bite. This active ingredient in ingested by adult fleas, but only affects the eggs and larvae. Lufenuron is passed onto flea eggs before they are laid, and already hatched flea larvae can ingest it by feeding on their mother’s blood dropping. This pesticide will prevent larvae from ever being able to form an exoskeleton, so they can never pupate and reach adulthood.

capstar novartis oral flea medicationCapstar (Nitenpyram)

One popular and effective oral flea medication is Capstar, and contains Nitenpyram for the active ingredient. It can be safely used on both cats and dogs, as long as they are at least four weeks old and weigh two pounds. This medication can be given with or without food. One pill a day can be administered to pets, and each treatment will last for 24-48 hours. Keep in mind, Capstar will only kill adult fleas. It is best used to give your pets immediate relief from flea bites, and not for lasting prevention. A package contains 6 tablets.

program oral flea medicationProgram (Lufenuron)

Program is name brand for the other type of oral medication that uses lufenuron for the active ingredient. As mentioned, this is an insect development inhibitor, and will stop larvae from ever growing into adult fleas. This completely disrupts the life cycle of fleas, so no new generation adults can continue the infestation. Program is safe to administer to cats and dogs, with no known toxic effects. Tablets should only be given once a month. This makes Program is better for lasting flea control and prevention. A package of Program will contain 6 pills, which is enough to last for half a year.

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