The difference between those two products is immense due to the active ingredients which are completely different.
Both products have the same indications: they are effective against fleas (adult and larval stages) and ticks. Frontline covers biting lice as well. They have the same way of administration, spot on, and more or less the same side effects and warning.
The difference between them is the active ingredient.
Frontline plus: Fipronil and s-methoprene. Fipronil is a member of the phenylpyrazole family of non-systemic insecticides/acaricides, which acts by blocking the GABA receptor to kill the target parasite on contact.Frontline is effective against flea infestation for approximately two months and against tick infestation for up to one month, depending on the level of environmental challenge. Newly arrived fleas are killed within 24 hours of landing on the animal. Re-treatment may safely be carried out at one month intervals.Frontline does not prevent all ticks from attaching to the animal, but ticks will be killed in the first 24 - 48 hours after attachment, prior to full engorgement and therefore minimising the risk of transmission of disease. Once dead, ticks will often drop off the animal, but any remaining ticks may easily be removed by a gentle pull, preferably using tweezers. There may be an attachment of single ticks. For this reason transmission of infectious diseases cannot be completely excluded if conditions are unfavourable.
Laboratory studies using fipronil have not shown any teratogenic or embryotoxic effect. The safety of the product was demonstrated in breeding, pregnant and lactating bitches treated with multiple consecutive doses with up to 3 times the maximum recommended dose. Frontline for dogs can be used in breeding, pregnant and lactating bitches.
No adverse effects were seen in 8-week old puppies, growing dogs and dogs weighing about 2 kg treated once at five times the recommended dose. The risk of adverse effects may increase when overdosing, so animals should always be treated with the correct pipette size according to body weight. Safety data are not available for use of the product in animals less than 8 weeks of age.
Bathing or shampooing the animal up to one hour prior to treatment does not affect the efficacy of the product. Bathing/immersion in water within 2 days after application of the product and more frequent bathing than once a week should be avoided, as no study has been performed to investigate how this affects the efficacy of the product. Emollient shampoos can be used prior to treatment, but reduce the duration of protection against fleas to approximately 5 weeks when used weekly after application of the product. Weekly bathing with a 2% chlorhexidine medicated shampoo did not affect efficacy against fleas during a 6 week long study.
(S)-Methoprene is an insect growth regulator (IGR) of the class of compounds known as juvenile hormone analogues that inhibit the development of immature stages of insects. This compound mimics the action of juvenile hormone and causes impaired development and death of the developing stages of fleas. The on-animal ovicidal activity of (S)-methoprene results from either direct penetration of the eggshell of newly laid eggs or from absorption through the cuticle of the adult fleas. (S)-methoprene is also effective in preventing flea larvae and pupae from developing, which prevents contamination of the environment of treated animals with the immature stages of fleas.
Advantix : imidacloprid and permethrin.
Imidacloprid is an ectoparasiticide belonging to the chloronicotinyl group of compounds. Imidacloprid is effective against adult fleas and larval flea stages. In addition to the adulticide flea efficacy of imidacloprid, a larvicidal flea efficacy in the surroundings of the treated pet has been demonstrated. Larval stages in the dog’s immediate surroundings are killed following contact with a treated animal. It has a high affinity for the nicotinergic acetylcholine receptors in the post-synaptic region of the central nervous system (CNS) in insects.
Permethrin belongs to the type I class of pyrethroid acaricides and insecticides and also acts as repellent Pyrethroids or so called open channel blockers affecting the sodium channel by slowing both the activation and the inactivation properties thus leading to hyperexcitability and death of the parasite. This is one of the most likely active ingredient which can cause adverse effects after administration . Permethrin is highly toxic to cats and should never be administered to this species. Also if a dog is treated with a product containing permetherin it should be kept away from cats for at least the period of time that it takes for the application place to dry. Permethrin causes intoxication to cats because this species lacks the capacity of metabolizing the substance.
In the combination of both substances, it has been shown imidacloprid functions as the activator of arthropod ganglion and therefore increases the efficacy of permethrin.
The product provides repellent (anti-feeding) activity against ticks, sand flies and mosquitoes, thus preventing the repelled parasites from taking a blood meal and thus reducing the risk of disease transmission (e.g. Borreliosis, Rickettsiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Leishmaniasis). However, there may be an attachment of single ticks or bites by single sand flies or mosquitoes. For this reason, a transmission of infectious diseases by these parasites cannot be completely excluded if conditions are unfavourable. The product provides repellent (anti-feeding) activity against stable flies thereby assisting in the prevention of fly-bite dermatitis.
The product is indicated for dermal administration. Following topical application in dogs, the solution rapidly distributes over the body surface of the animal. Both active substances remain detectable on the skin and hair of the treated animal for 4 weeks.
Some of the side effects recorded were transient skin sensitivity (itchiness, hair loss, redness at the application spot). In vary rare cases, dogs may show behavioural changes like agitation, restlessness, whining or rolling. Gastro-intestinal symptoms like vomiting, hyper-salivation, loss of appetite have also been seen. All of these side effects are transient and self resolving and appear in only a small number of cases.