It seems with every passing year, there is an increasing number of pets diagnosed with allergies or allergy-related skin conditions. And now there’s a new (less than 10 years old) drug on the market that claims to relieve all those itchy symptoms.
It’s called Apoquel ( oclacitinib maleate).
Now, before we go any further, let’s be clear — we are not promoting nor are we discounting Apoquel as an effective medication for the treatment of allergies and skin conditions. Every pet is different, and we firmly believe that the decision to medicate (or not) should come down to the risk/reward factors of each unique case.
We won’t be sharing our opinion about Apoquel. We encourage you to form your own conclusions about the drug based on the information available.
So let’s get to the facts about Apoquel. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is Apoquel & how does it work?
- Does Apoquel cure allergies and skin conditions?
- What are the side effects of Apoquel?
- Does Apoquel cause cancer?
- Is Apoquel safe for all dogs?
- What are the long-term effects of Apoquel?
- Are there alternatives to Apoquel?
What is Apoquel & how does it work?
Oclacitinib (Apoquel) is an FDA-approved immune suppressant drug. It is used to control pruritus (that’s medical jargon for ‘itchy skin’) in dogs that have allergic or atopic dermatitis.
In plain english, itchiness is an immune response — the body’s reaction to things like allergies, insect bites or skin conditions. Apoquel shuts down this immune response, which relieves your dog’s itch.
At the same time, however, Apoquel also prevents your dog from completing other important immune tasks, like fighting infection. More on that shortly …
Apoquel tablets are available by prescription only. They come in three doses: 3.6mg, 5.4mg and 16mg. Recommended dosing is based on your pet’s weight.