If you’re a small animal veterinarian, you commonly prescribe flea and tick products for your patients. FDA approves some flea and tick products as animal drugs while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers others as pesticides. You can identify the regulating agency by looking at the product’s label.
An FDA-approved flea and tick product will often have the statement, “Approved by FDA,” followed by the six-digit New Animal Drug Application (NADA) or Abbreviated New Animal Drug Application (ANADA) number on the label. If you have a question about the product’s approval status, you can follow the tips on how to tell if a drug is FDA-approved for animals.
An EPA-registered flea and tick product will have an EPA Registration Number (sometimes written as “EPA Reg. No.”) on the label. Another way to determine if a product is registered by EPA is through Purdue University's National Pesticide Information Retrieval System (NPIRS). This system provides user-friendly access to EPA's database of registered pesticides. You can search NPIRS by EPA registration number, product name, company name, or active ingredient.
Unfortunately, counterfeit pet pesticides are a problem. Foreign-labeled flea and tick products are illegally imported into the United States and packaged to look like the legitimate EPA-registered “Advantage” and “Frontline” products.