Breathe a sigh of relief when your dog’s atopic dermatitis (allergy) symptoms are abated with Atopica. Allergic dermatitis is a chronic problem in many dogs that causes discomfort such as itching and gnawing which results in painful skin lesions. Atopica helps relieve symptoms by targeting the immune cells in the body that are responsible for allergic reactions and related skin problems.
What is Atopica? Atopica is an FDA approved capsule that is often prescribed by veterinarians in order to treat atopic dermatitis (allergies) and related symptoms that result from common allergens such dust mites, pollen, and molds. Atopica can also be effective in treating related skin conditions.
Formulated for: dogs that are over 4 lbs. The safe use of Atopica in dogs below 6 months of age has not been established. Atopica is licensed for use in dogs but some veterinarians may prescribe it to cats.
How is this medication given? Ideally, Atopica should be given 1-2 hours before meals and without food. Do not open capsules and do not sprinkle contents on food. Follow the exact directions set forth by your veterinarian. Your dog’s dose may be reduced by your veterinarian after several weeks of treatment. Start Atopica 1-2 months before your dog’s allergy season if his/her problems are seasonal in nature. Do not remove each capsule from the blister pack until you are ready to use it.
How does this medication work? Atopica fights the underlying cause of skin allergies and related skin conditions by targeting the immune cells involved in an allergic reaction.
What results can I expect? Your dog’s allergy symptoms should be reduced which should result in your dog feeling better. His/her skin should start to look less inflamed and he/she should itch less which should result in less skin lesions. You will need to be patient. Results are not immediate and it may take several weeks for you to notice a difference. Results will vary from patient to patient.
What Form(s) does Atopica come in? Atopica is available as a soft capsule in 4 different strengths. Your veterinarian will determine the strength and dose that is right for your dog.
Generic Name: Cyclosporine (Common Drug Name)
Common Brand Name: Atopica (Novartis)
Dose and Administration: Give Atopica exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Your dog’s dose may be reduced after several weeks of treatment. Give this medication without food, ideally 1-2 hours before meals. Do not open capsule and do not sprinkle contents on food as there is a bitter taste. Keep capsules in blister pack until you are ready to use them. If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is time for the next scheduled dose, skip the dose. Do not double dose. Your veterinarian may recommend blood tests in order to monitor the safety and efficacy of Atopica. Ask your veterinarian what his/her policy is regarding blood monitoring.
Uses: Atopica is used for the treatment of allergic dermatitis (allergies) and related skin conditions in dogs.
Possible Side Effects: Gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite have been reported. Other less common side effects include muscle cramps, muscle weakness, and change in hair coat. Signs of an allergic reaction include facial swelling, difficulty breathing, hives, scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, and pale gums. Atopica can suppress the immune system at high doses causing your pet to be more susceptible to infection. Other side effects may occur. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet displays any unusual symptoms while taking Atopica.
Drug and Food Interactions:
- Easy and convenient daily dosing
- Treats symptoms of atopic dermatitis (allergies) like gnawing and scratching.
- Reduces skin lesions related to atopic dermatitis (allergies) is some cases.
- Fewer side effects than other medications such as steroids making it a safe option for long-term use.
There are many possible drug/food interactions that can occur with Atopica. Tell your veterinarian about any vitamins, supplements, or medications your dog is taking before starting Atopica. Possible interactions can occur with digoxin, etoposide, corticosteroids, amiodarone, androgens (testosterone), antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), erythromycin, calcium channel blockers (diltiazem), corticosteroids, metoclopramide, rimethoprim/sulfa, rifampin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, terbinafine, probucol, omeprazole, aminoglycosides (e.g., gentamicin). amphotericin, and modified live vaccines. Vaccinations may be less effective when given to animals receiving Atopica. The manufacturer recommends using only killed vaccines in animals taking Atopica. Discuss this with your veterinarian.Precautions:
Do not use in animals that are allergic to cyclosporine. Use this medication with caution in dogs with liver and kidney disease. Do not use in dogs with a history of cancer. It is not recommended to give Atopica to breeding or nursing dogs unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Discuss this with your veterinarian. The safety of Atopica has not been evaluated in dogs under 6 months of age.Storage:
Store Atopica at room temperature. Keep out of reach of children and pets.A prescription from your veterinarian is required to purchase Atopica.