Apoquel Tablets for Dogs
Apoquel Tablets for dogs is a brand new medication used for the treatment of acute and chronic pruritus (itching) in dogs.
What are Apoquel Tablets?
Apoquel provides rapid relief of pruritus (itching) in dogs associated with allergic dermatitis and provides control of atopic dermatitis in dogs at least 12 months of age. Unlike common therapies such as steroids, cyclosporines or antihistamines, Apoquel is the only treatment specifically designed to go straight to the source of the itch.
Who are Apoquel Tablets for?
Apoquel is for dogs older than 12 months of age
Why use Apoquel Tablets?
- Apoquel reduces inflammation in the skin similar to glucocorticoids
- Apoquel reliefs itch caused by flea allergy, food allergy, contact allergy and atopic dermatitis in dogs.
- Apoquel targets the cause of the itch, it has minimal effect on other parts of the dog's body
How do Apoquel Tablets work?
- Apoquel starts to relieve the itch within 4 hours, comparable to steroids.
- Apoquel effectively controls the itch within 24 hours
- Apoquel relieves itch in the long term.
Active ingredient: Apoquel tablets contain 3.6mg, 5.4mg, or 16mg of oclacitinib as oclacitinib maleate per tablet. Each tablet is scored and marked with AQ and either an S, M, or L that correspond to the different tablet strengths on both sides.
What are the side effects of Apoquel Tablets?
In most cases, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, and lethargy spontaneously resolved with continued dosing.
What special precautions are there?
Apoquel is not for use in dogs with serious infections. Apoquel may increase susceptibility to infection, including demodicosis, and exacerbate neoplastic conditions. Apoquel is not for use in breeding dogs, or pregnant or lactating bitches. The use of Apoquel has not been evaluated in combination with glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, or other systemic immunosuppressive agents. Dogs receiving Apoquel should be monitored for the development of infections, including demodicosis, and neoplasia.
A Veterinary Pet Prescription is required for Apoquel
Apoquel is a newly approved product designed to ease the symptoms of pruritic conditions including allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis in dogs.
Skin conditions and chronic dermatitis may not be life threatening conditions, but they can make your dog really itchy and uncomfortable, which in turn can lead to your dog scratching themselves to distraction in order to gain some relief from their discomfort. Scratching, obsessive licking and biting at particularly irritating areas of the skin can soon exacerbate the problem, leading to redness and inflammation, as well as bald patches and sore spots that can soon become a host to bacterial and viral infections, creating a vicious circle of scratching, further irritation, and additional damage to the skin.
What is Apoquel?
Apoquel is a POM-V medication, meaning that it can only be sold with a veterinary prescription, and it is sold in tablet form for oral administration.
Tablets can be purchased in either 3.6mg Apoquel, 5.4mg Apoquel or 16mg Apoquel, to suit the needs of dogs of different sizes.
The active ingredient in Apoquel is Oclacitinib, which is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. This means that the medication will inhibit the function of certain cytokines, a form of chemical switching gears that control various immune-mediated reactions. When your dog suffers from itchy dermatitis, the cytokines that your dog’s immune system generates due to the allergenic trigger can lead to serious itching or pruritus of the skin, exacerbating the body’s immune responses. Oclacitinib helps to mute or inhibit the response of this specific immune reaction, targeting cytokines that cause the allergenic response and proinflammatory elements of the reaction.
This in turn helps to reduce the itching and irritation that such conditions trigger across the body of your dog, making them more comfortable and less likely to scratch constantly.
How is Apoquel used?
Apoquel is given in tablet form, which can be administered either with or without food. The initial dose for dogs prescribed Apoquel is 0.4-0.6mg of Oclacitinib per kg of bodyweight given twice daily for the first fourteen days.
After the initial two week period, assuming that Apoquel has proven suitable for your dog, a maintenance dose of 0.4-0.6mg/kg of bodyweight is recommended, given once per day.
Treatment and maintenance of the efficacy of Apoquel should be monitored by your veterinary surgeon, and regularly reviewed.
Does Apoquel cure pruritic dermatitis?
Apoquel is designed to soothe and treat one of the most problematic symptoms of pruritic dermatitis, rather than to treat or cure any of the various underlying causes of the condition.
For dogs suffering from allergic dermatitis, establishing the trigger or triggers of the condition and limiting exposure to them is the best way of resolving the condition permanently, which may require a range of tests and exposure trials to be arranged by your veterinary surgeon.
In the case of dermatitis caused or complicated by external factors such as a hypersensitivity to fleas, demodectic mange or other parasites, treating and resolving the underlying condition is the best form of resolving the issue for the long term.
Is Apoquel suitable for all dogs?
Apoquel is suitable for the vast majority of dogs suffering from allergic dermatitis or other pruritic skin conditions, but is unsuitable for dogs that have proven to be hypersensitive to the active ingredient, Oclacitinib. Apoquel may also prove unsuitable for dogs suffering from immune-suppressant conditions such as hyperadrenocorticism or progressive malignant neoplasia, or any other conditions that serve to supress the immune system.
To date, clinical trials on pregnant and lactating bitches have yet to be undertaken, and so Apoquel is not recommended for use during gestation or nursing. Apoquel is suitable for adult dogs only, and should not be prescribed for dogs under twelve months of age, or for dogs with a bodyweight of less than 3kg.
Because Apoquel supresses some of the body’s Immune responses, long-term use of Apoquel may increase the risk of susceptibility to infections, and the development of neoplastic tumour formations. Dogs undergoing long-term treatment with Apoquel should have their blood count and serum biochemistry monitored periodically, in order to ensure that their wider immune system does not become affected.
Apoquel is generally a well-tolerated medication with few potential side effects, however, as with any medication, Apoquel may prove unsuitable for some dogs. Often, minor side effects of Apoquel will go away within a few days of beginning treatment with the medication, but any problems that become acute or remain after the initial two week period may mean that Apoquel is unsuitable for your dog, and may need to be discontinued.
Some of the potential side effects of the medication can include vomiting and/or diarrhoea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, and lethargy, although these effects only present within a very small number of dogs treated with Apoquel, and generally resolve themselves promptly and without becoming acute.
Speak to your vet if you have any concerns about the use of Apoquel, or if you wish to stop treatment.
Apoquel is available in the following strengths:
- 3.6mg Apoquel
- 5.4mg Apoquel
- 16mg Apoquel