How to Tell if You Bought Counterfeit Flea Medicine

One big problem a lot of consumers have been seeing lately, and which you need to watch out for in order to keep your pet safe, is counterfeit flea medicines. The EPA has recently been taking action to crack down on this, noting that it risks the safety of your pets because the counterfeit versions of common flea medicines are often of dubious quality.

Frontline and Advantage are the main targets for the counterfeiters, being two of the most popular brands. The counterfeit versions have been illegally imported and are faked to look like they are a product from these legitimate companies.
   

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How to Identify Counterfeits:

The EPA has issued consumer guidelines for how you can try to make sure you aren't using a counterfeit product. 

For Frontline:

1) Check to make sure the lot number on the product's box is the same as on the actually applicator inside the box.

2) Make sure the box contains instructions.

3) Make sure the product is in a child-resistant applicator. The instructions should have a picture that looks like the applicator - if they don't, that's a bad sign.

4) The text on the applicator itself will be in English only.

5) You can view a legitimate Frontline applicator here: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/petproduct.htm

For Advantage:

1) Look at the applicator tubes (i.e., not the instructions - the actual thing you use to apply the medicine). Counterfeiters are printing instructions on the tubes themselves in other languages (French or German). Legitimate advantage tubes have only English on the tube itself.

2) Legitimate Advantage tubes include an EPA registration number, the word "Warning," and a child hazard warning. You can see a picture here: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/petproduct.htm

3) Legitimate Advantage tubes say they are from Bayer.

4) Legitimate Advantage tubes list as an ingredient 9.1% imidacloprid. If it says any other percentage, it could be a counterfeit.

What should I do if I have purchased a counterfeit?

Do not use it, first of all. You should notify whoever you bought it from, and report it to the EPA here: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints/index.html.

If you've already used it, take your pet to the vet - especially if you see any negative signs whatsoever.

What if I'm not sure?

Call the company themselves, and ask them for help making sure.

Frontline's website is here, and it's made by a company called Merial: http://frontline.us.merial.com/. Their phone number is: 1-800-660-1842.

Advantage's website is here, and it's made by Bayer: http://advantage.petparents.com/. Their phone number is 1-800-255-6826.

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