Amitraz is a diamide topical antiparasitic agent used against mites and ticks. It has the following pharmacologic actions:

  • Adrenergic Agonist
  • Insect repellent - substance causing insects to turn away from hosts or reject them as food.
  • Insecticide - a pesticides designed to control insects that are harmful to living things. The insects may be directly harmful, as those acting as disease vectors, or indirectly harmful, as destroyers of crops, food products, or textile fabrics.
  • Pesticide synergist - chemical that promotes or enhances the effectiveness of other pesticides when combined.

In dogs, amitraz is used for the treatment of generalized demodicosis. The treatment is continued until no viable mites are found in skin scrapings at two successive treatments. It is not used to treat scabies.2

Amitraz can cause a significant increase in plasma glucose level by inhibiting insulin release via its alpha 2-adrenergic activity, therefore it should be used with caution in diabetic patients. Toy breeds may be more susceptible to CNS effects, including short-term sedation. Amitraz can be toxic to cats and rabbits.3


  1. PubChem Compound Database
  2. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Food and Drugs, Pt. 500-599, Revised as of April 1, 2009
  3. Veterinary Drug Handbook. Donald C. Plumb