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Pet Medication 101: Apoquel

Apoquel for dog allergies

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what Apoquel is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

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1. Drug Name:

oclacitinib

2. Brand Name:

Apoquel

3. How Dispensed:

Prescription-only

4. Forms:

Tablets 3.6mg, Tablets 5.4mg, Tablets 16mg

5. Drug Type/Class:

Janus kinase inhibitor

6. Uses in Dogs:

Apoquel is used to treat itchy skin, atopic dermatitis, and allergic dermatitis in dogs.

7. How it Works:

Apoquel is not a steroid or antihistamine. It works by inhibiting cytokines, which are the chemicals your pet’s body produces in response to allergens. Cytokines are the main cause of itching and inflammation due to allergies.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdosage:

Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, depression/lethargy, anorexia, SQ masses, decreased leukocytes, increased cholesterol, and increased lipase.

9. Drug Interactions:

Apoquel is safe to use with almost all drugs, but it should be used cautiously with other immunosuppressive drugs (ie. steroids).

10. Cautionary Statements:

Not for use on dogs that are less than 12 months of age. Avoid using it in dogs with serious skin infections. Apoquel has been known to make certain parasitic conditions (like Demodex or scabies) and pre-existing cancers worse.

Read more:

Allergic Ear Infections (Allergic Otitis) in Dogs

Allergy Tests for Dogs

How to Tell if Your Dog has Seasonal Allergies

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