Atopica for Dogs

This is a drug that is used to treat skin allergies in dogs. It's a brand name of a drug called cyclosporine, which is used in humans. Dogs can get skin allergies from a number of things in the environment - flea bites, dust, pollen, mold, or mites are common ones. The allergic reaction is a response by the dog's immune system to the allergen - basically an overreaction that causes the dog to itch and have inflammation. For many dogs, this can be an extreme condition, resulting in hair loss and self-injury from repeated scratching or biting.

   

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How does it work?

This is a drug that suppresses parts of the immune system that cause allergic reactions. That means your dog can still come into contact with the allergens but won't have an allergic response to them anymore. Besides skin allergies, this suppression can be useful to treat some types of anemia in dogs that are caused by an immune response. There are also certain kinds of tissue inflammation it is used for.

Are there any side effects?

Yes. First, some dogs are sensitive to it or allergic to the drug. You should watch for any negative reactions to it and if that happens, stop using it and take the dog to the vet. Second, because it's a drug designed to suppress parts of the immune system, it can be a bad idea to use it in a dog that has suffered from immune system problems in the past. Make sure your vet knows your dog's full medical history - some serious diseases weaken your dog's immune system and this drug could make that worse. Third, it can have bad reactions with other medications.

There are also some side effects it can cause in normal, healthy dogs. These are usually diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. You should also be cautious about long-term use and talk to your vet about it. There is some risk in suppressing the immune system for long periods of time, which can result in other diseases.

Can it be used on cats?

No - it is only approved for dogs.

Where can I buy it?

You can get it online here, depending on the dose:

Atopica 10 mg (15 Capsules)

Atopica 25 mg (15 gel Caps)

Atopica 50 mg (15 gel Caps)

Atopica 100 mg (15 gel Caps)

Sources and Useful Links:

http://www.ah.novartis.com/products/en/cab/atopica.shtml

http://www.dentalplans.com/Dental-Health-Articles/Seasonal-Allergies-Mean-Big-Headaches-For-Dogs.asp

http://forums.doggysnaps.com/showthread.php?p=176331

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