Oclacitinib is an oral veterinary medication indicated for the management of itching associated with allergic dermatitis, including atopy, in dogs aged 12 months or above. In addition to its primary use, oclacitinib may also be efficacious in treating other skin conditions in dogs, and has been sparingly used to treat certain skin conditions in cats.
The administration of oclacitinib for indications other than allergic dermatitis in dogs or its use in cats is deemed off-label. It is not uncommon for drugs to be prescribed off-label in veterinary medicine. In such situations, carefully adhere to the veterinarian’s directions and cautions.
Uses and Dosage
Administer oclacitinib tablets orally, either with or without food. In case of vomiting following the administration of oclacitinib, consult your veterinarian and consider giving the medication with a meal or some food.
Oclacitinib is approved for use in dogs aged 12 months and above. Avoid using it in pregnant, nursing, or breeding dogs.
If your dog has a severe infection, inform your veterinarian, as oclacitinib should not be used in such cases.
Inform your veterinarian about all medications and supplements that your dog is taking, and do not administer additional medications without their consultation. The compatibility of oclacitinib with common allergy medications such as steroids and cyclosporine is unknown, and hence requires veterinarian guidance.
Possible side effects of oclacitinib in dogs include:
- gastrointestinal effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite
These side effects are typically rare and can often be managed by administering the medication with food, as directed on the label.
While these side effects are rare, contact your veterinarian promptly if your dog exhibits symptoms of infection, such as fever, shortness of breath, or the appearance of a skin mass:
- urinary tract infections
- respiratory infections
- skin infections
- skin growths
Oclacitinib is contraindicated for use in dogs under 12 months of age. It works by modulating the immune system in dogs.
Administration of oclacitinib is not recommended in dogs with severe infections. It may also increase susceptibility to infections, such as demodicosis, and worsen neoplastic conditions.
During clinical studies, new cases of both benign and malignant neoplastic conditions were reported in dogs treated with oclacitinib.
Veterinarians should carefully evaluate the potential risks and benefits of treatment before initiating oclacitinib in dogs with a history of recurrent serious infections, demodicosis, or neoplasia.
To prevent accidental ingestion or overdose, store oclacitinib in a secure location that is inaccessible to dogs, cats, and other animals.
Form and Strength
Apoquel is available in the following forms and strengths:
How long can a dog take Apoquel?
Apoquel can be given short-term or long-term. Your veterinarian will recommend an appropriate treatment length for your dog.
Does my dog need to have any tests run before starting Apoquel treatment?
As long as your dog is in good health otherwise, no specific tests are necessary.