Immune modulator
By Dr. Karen Burgess

Brand name and formulations



What is Apoquel used for?

Apoquel is labeled for the treatment of itch associated with allergies.  It is in general a very effective tool in the management of allergies for pets.  There are many other immune modulatory uses for Apoquel that are being discovered daily.  Apoquel begins controlling itch within four hours of administration and can be used short or long term safely.

What is Apoquel?

Apoquel is an inhibitor of a specific mediators of inflammation, JAK1 and JAK3(Janus Kinase).  JAK1 is one necessary component in the cascade of events that lead to an allergic response, typically “itchiness” and inflammation in dogs.  By using Apoquel this process can be safely interrupted.

How is Apoquel given and what if a dose is missed?

Apoquel is typically prescribed for once daily dosing after an initial two week course of twice daily administration.  If a dose is missed and it is less than 12 hours late, go ahead and give the missed dose.  If it is within 12 hours of the next dose, skip a dose and resume regular schedule with the next dose.

Are there any side effects associated with Apoquel use?

In rare instances pets may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy.

Who should not take Apoquel?

Apoquel should not be taken by pets being given immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory drugs.  Examples of this include prednisone and cyclosporine.  Apoquel is not approved for animals less than one year of age, pets with cancer, or generalized demodex infections.

What follow up is necessary with Apoquel use?

Laboratory work should ideally be done prior to use and then annually thereafter.