Apoquel is a drug indicated for the treatment of pruritus (itching) associated with allergic dermatitis in dogs and clinical manifestations of atopic dermatitis. The active substance is oclacitinib.
Apoquel is the first Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved for veterinary use. It ensures rapid and sustained alleviation of itching and improvement of skin lesions, without generating the adverse effects associated with commonly used treatments, such as glucocorticoids.
Itching in dogs is among the most common reasons pet owners visit the vet, affecting approximately one in six dogs. Almost half of the dogs that exhibit itching have an underlying skin allergy for which Apoquel would be indicated.
How Much Does Apoquel Cost?
The cost of Apoquel is affected by several factors such as the place you buy it from and the strength of the medicine.
For example, the cost of an Apoquel tablet starts at around $4 at the 1800 Pet Meds store. The price of a 16 mg tablet is $6, a 5.4 tablet costs $5 and for a 3.6 mg tablet, you will have to pay $4. These prices are available after the 15% coupon code is applied.
No matter how strong is the dosage, Pet Smart sells Apoquel at $3.75 per tablet.
Apoquel has a unique and innovative mode of action, as its action is targeted at the specific pathogenic pathways of pruritus (itching) and inflammation, which differentiates it from glucocorticoids. Apoquel is less likely to cause unwanted side effects, as the drug acts quickly (proven antipruritic efficacy within four hours) to reduce pruritus, unlike cyclosporine, which achieves pruritus control after a month of administration.
Each film-coated Apoquel tablet contains 3.6 mg oclacitinib, 5.4 mg oclacitinib, or 16 mg oclacitinib. The white to off-white film-coated tablets are oblong, with a scored line on both sides, and marked with the letters “AQ” and “S”, “M” or “L” on both sides. The letters “S”, “M” and “L” refer to the different strengths of the tablets: “S” is on the 3.6 mg tablets, “M” is on the 5.4 mg tablets, and “L” is on the 16 mg tablets.
Apoquel is a medicine available only on the basis of a prescription issued by a veterinarian. Apoquel tablets, in concentrations of 0.18 mg to 0.27 mg/lb, are administered orally, twice a day, for 14 days, and then once a day for maintenance therapy, if treatment is necessary in the medium-long term, such as in the case of dogs with seasonal skin allergies and atopic dermatitis. See the dosage chart below for the number of tablets needed to reach the recommended dosage.
Apoquel can be taken with or without food. During treatment with Apoquel, the underlying causes of allergic dermatitis should be diagnosed and managed. Apoquel has been used in combination with other medications, including antibiotics, antiparasitics, and anti-inflammatories commonly given to dogs with skin conditions.
Apoquel dosage chart
What are the additional expenses?
Apoquel can be combined with most common therapies such as allergen immunotherapy, inoculations, NSAIDs, and antibiotic. However, when combating chronic, year-round allergies it is crucial to consider allergy shots (immune-serum injections) and allergy testing.
Important things to consider
The safety of Apoquel has not been established during pregnancy and lactation or in breeding males, therefore it is not recommended to use during pregnancy, lactation, or in breeding dogs.
Also, do not use Apoquel in dogs less than 12 months old or less than 6.6 lb body weight.
Do not use in dogs with signs of immune suppression, such as hyperadrenocorticism, or with signs of progressive malignant neoplasia, as the active substance has not been evaluated in these cases.
Oclacitinib modulates the immune system and may increase susceptibility to infections and exacerbate neoplastic conditions. Dogs administered Apoquel should therefore be monitored for the development of infections and neoplasia.
When treating pruritus associated with allergic dermatitis with oclacitinib, investigate and treat any underlying causes (e.g., flea allergy dermatitis, contact dermatitis, food hypersensitivity).
Also, in case of allergic dermatitis or atopic dermatitis, it is recommended to investigate and treat complicating factors, such as bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections/infestations (for example fleas or scabies).
Apoquel must not be thrown into wastewater or household waste. Ask your veterinarian for information on how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed. These measures contribute to environmental protection.
How can I save money?
Look for coupon codes if you buy Apoquel from an online pharmacy because these are readily available.