Atopica is used to treat atopic dermatitis (commonly called skin allergies) in dogs. Signs of skin allergies include itching, scratching, licking, gnawing, chewing, skin infections, hair loss, terrible odor, and sleepless nights.
For: Dogs (at least 6 months of age and weighing at least 4 pounds)
How it works: Atopica targets the immune cells involved in the allergic reaction. You usually only administer one dose a day to control symptoms, but many dogs can be effectively controlled with every-other-day or twice-weekly dosing.
Dosage and Administration: Give Atopica exactly as directed by your veterinarian. If you do not understand these directions, ask your veterinarian or pharmacist to explain them to you. Give Atopica 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Allow plenty of water for the pet to drink. Do not remove a capsule from the blister pack until required for use. When the capsule is removed from the blister pack there is a characteristic, noticeable smell which is normal. Your veterinarian may want your pet to have regularly scheduled blood tests during treatment to monitor effectiveness and side effects. Store Atopica at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss giving a dose: Give the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not give a double dose unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.
What happens if I overdose the pet: Seek emergency veterinary medical treatment.
Possible side effects of Atopica: If any of the following serious side effects occur, stop giving Atopica and seek emergency veterinary medical attention; an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue or face, and hives). Other less serious side effects may occur. Continue giving Atopica and talk to your veterinarian if your pet develops vomiting, soft stools or diarrhea, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and change of hair coat. Other side effects may occur. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to the animal.
What should I avoid while giving Atopica to my pet: The safe use in breeding, pregnant or lactating pets has not been determined. Do not use Atopica in pets with known allergy to the medication. The drug should not be used in pets with kidney disease, stomach ulcers, and certain blood disorders. Prolonged use of Atopica can result in bacterial or fungal infection related to a decreased effect of the immune system.
What other drugs will affect Atopica: Tell your veterinarian what medications your pet is currently using and any new products, including herbal remedies you may start to give. Drug/drug interactions could cause a decrease in effectiveness or an increase in side effects of either Atopica or the other medication being given. Examples of medications that may cause drug/drug interactions are; SMZ-TMP (Bactrim, Septra), gentamicin, etodolac (EtoGesic), piroxicam (Feldene), ketoconazole (Nizoral), cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), itraconoazole (Sporanox), methylprednisolone (Medrol), erythromycin, Allopurinol (Zyloprim), metoclopramide (Reglan), prednisOLOne, digoxin (Lanoxin), any type of vaccination.
What should I discuss with my veterinarian before giving Atopica: Tell your veterinarian if your pet has liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, high blood pressure, a viral, bacterial or fungal infection, or any other serious or chronic condition. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is pregnant or lactating, and if you plan to breed your pet.
What is the most important information I should know about Atopica: Notify your veterinarian immediately if your pet develops fever (over 103°), painful urination, tiredness, sneezing, coughing, or runny nose.These symptoms could be early signs of dangerous side effects.
Cautions: There are many possible drug interactions. Be sure to tell your veterinarian what other medications your pet is currently using. Give Atopica at least one hour before food or 2 hours after food.