Generic Drug Name: Amitraz
Other Common Names: Mitaban, Taktic
Amitraz is an ectoparasiticide used for the treatment and control of parasitic insects such as mites, lice, and ticks on domestic livestock and various other mammals. It is most commonly used to treat mange caused by the mite Demodex Canis in dogs, cheyletiellosis (walking dandruff), and psoriatic mange in sheep.
The medication works by stopping the enzyme monoamine oxidase and as a blocking agent at octopamine receptors. Monoamine oxidase helps metabolize neurotransmitters in parasites such as mites and ticks. Octopamine is responsible for the parasite's muscle contractions, so inhibiting these receptors paralyzes the insect.
This medication is fairly safe among most mammals and it's most adverse side effect is sedation. It should not be used on cats, rabbits, horses, Chihuahuas, pregnant or nursing dogs, or puppies under three to four months of age. If properly diluted and used with caution, Amitraz may be effectively and safely given to smaller animals such as chinchillas, mice, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.
Very small breeds of dogs (toy breeds) and other mammals, such as those listed directly above, are at the highest risk of transient sedation due to exposure to Amitraz. Lower or half-doses are recommended for these animals.
Caution should be used with brittle-boned diabetic patients because of the medication's effect on plasma glucose levels.
Amitraz should be kept at room temperature (68-77 degrees Fahrenheit) in a light-resistant container with a tightly-fitted lid.
Amitraz is flammable until mixed with water. Heat, sparks, open flames, and smoking should be avoided around this medication. Protect hands with rubber gloves and wash them along with arms and other exposed skin after use
Amitraz is administered topically as a spray or dip and should not be ingested. All animals that come into contact with the originally infected animal should be treated. Before topical administration to treat generalized demodicosis, hair should be clipped short and all dirt, crust, and scaly skin removed with a high quality antiseborrheic shampoo.
After a thorough cleaning and removal of excess debris, mix 250 parts per million (one 10.6 ml bottle of Mitaban or 0.025% Amitraz) in two gallons of warm water and apply to the entire animal generously, allowing to air dry. It is important to allow the animal to air dry instead of drying or rinsing the medication off, as Amitraz acts by paralyzing the mites. Treatment should be repeated every 14 days for three to six treatments, or until two consecutive skin samples show no mite activity.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.