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Old June 7th, 2007, 01:07 PM
Natchoice Natchoice is offline
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Atopica - CYCLOSPORINE A - New Drug - Answered by Dr. Lee


My 4 yr old dog, a Bichon, has severe year
round allergies. Has been on steroids after
natural remedies failed.

New Vet has now put him on ATOPICA,
also known as CYCLOSPORINE “A”.

Has anyone had any experience with this
new $6 per capsule drug?
This is the same drug given to human for
organ transplants.

Please, if you have ANY info at all, pass
it on to me ASAP. Desperate !


Last edited by Pike; June 7th, 2007 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Email Address Removed
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Old June 7th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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mummummum mummummum is offline
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There is quite a bit of information on the internet you might want to look into. Atopica is seen as a safer alternative to corticosteriods as having less or no long term impact on organs.



To what is your dog allergic ?
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Old June 7th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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BMDLuver BMDLuver is offline
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We have used Atopica combined with Vanectyl P for severe allergic reactions. There was significant improvement with it. However, it is very costly and the likelyhood of the dog ever being removed from it is slim. Have you had testing done to know exactly what the allergies are to? Sometimes this allows a pattern for when the Atopica is required and when something less expensive could be used ie. Benedryl or Vanectly P on it's own. Presently the poplar tree allergy and grass allergy is very high in some areas of Canada therefore making it an intolerable time for some dogs.
"For every animal that dies in a shelter, there is someone somewhere responsible for its death".
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Old June 7th, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Atopica information.

If your dog has allergies, Atopica might be the right medication! It has a large number of advantages over steroids. The medication targets the immune system, specifically the T-Helper cells. The two main advantages of Atopica over steroids is 1) safety and 2) better response.

The safety issue
Steroids will not only affect the skin but may lead to changes in the adrenal glands, kidneys, muscles, pancreas and GI tract. High doses are often accompanied by increased risk of infection and signs of iatrogenic (drug induced) Cushings disease which leads to thin skin, weight gain, increased thirst and hunger.
Sometimes steroids are needed, but it is a good sound that your vet is wanting to try Atopica first.

The Better response.
In my experience, dogs on steroids will stop itching but the severe cases still have many associated skin changes. The dogs who respond to Atopica wil often return to 'normal looking'.

The downside to Atopica....
1) Price. It is an expensive drug. The price from novartis came down this February but it is still costly. While you may want to shop around for the best price, I would caution you against other cyclosporine brands. The Atopica is microemulsified which allows for better intestinal absorption. Also Novartis has product guarrantees if any side effects might be thought to arise.
2) Downside two - the carrying agent is castor oil. Some dogs will vomit on it. If so, contact your veterinarian on what to do.

Final thoughts...
Have you had your pet skin tested? A food trial? (note: food trials cannot be done with just changing over the counter brands....) If not, you may want to ask your vet if these are right for you.

Some people want to start weaning their pet down on the Atopica. The most common problem that I have seen with Atopica not working is weaning too early. Talk to your vet prior to reducing the dose unless she/he gave you instructions already on tapering the dose.

I agree with the above post. The websites can be very helpful. Good luck!
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Old June 8th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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CyberKitten CyberKitten is offline
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I don't want to add to the vet's reply - I have prescribed this med enough to humans since yes, it is an anti rejection medication.Anyone who has a transplant has to take a plethora of meds but this is one of the more common ones. It's a very potent immunosuppressant and has a variety of side effects in humans as well. I do not know about the sidfe effects in dogs or cats.
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats" Albert Schweitzer
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Old June 8th, 2007, 11:18 PM
Natchoice Natchoice is offline
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Need input on this allergy drug

Nicky is a 4 year old male Bichon epilepsy service dog of great value as a pet, service dog for my son's epilepsy and as a beautiful little soul.

As a herbalist and nutritionist myself, I have tried with the help of a holistic vet
herbs, vitamins, raw meat diet, home cooked meals and even homeopathic remedies to no avail. Benadryl was of minimal use even at high doses.
From what I have read, testing for allergies is expensive and basically useless.
How is one to protect against, molds, mites, allergies to humans, other dogs or cats or just plain dust?

My friend got his dog tested twice, 6 months apart with different results!
Then the injections turned to be of almost no use after a year or two of injections. Even the Vet Derm. told me that not every dog is a good candidate. And then, to do the testing a dog that is tearing its self apart needs to be off medication for at least 2 weeks for proper results.
In two weeks without steroids he would be a real mess.

Nicky was put on Vanectly P (steroids) for 3 months straight. Finally he got better, put on weight, peed constantly, drank like crazy and had a rock hard belly. I wanted him of the drug. My holistic vet moved to New York so I had to find a new vet.

The new vet, on my suggestion, agreed that we should try Atopica.
I read the monogram and as with all pharmas I did not like what I read.
Vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, even lameness and life threatening allergic shock are mentioned.
To make thing worse on the 7th day of treatment the dog's back legs were extremely weak, could barely stand up or walk. Naturally it was on a Sunday
with only the emergency hospitals available in downtown Toronto miles away away being open. This scare the hell out of us. Thank God that slowly he improved through out the day. Was it related to the drug?
I called Novartis the drug company and the vet there didn't know what to say. According to her, the lameness mentioned on the monogram was
not fully "written up" and frankly it would be confidential !!!!!
Needless to say it was pretty scary.

Nicky is very lethargic , refuses to eat as normal, doesn't pee much
and still scratches away. What does one do?
This has been one of my toughest cases to solve and it affects the family
I manage to do quite well with my human clients and their health concerns.!!!!!!!

Expensive as it is, I wish I could hear from others who have had positive result with this Atopica drug so at least we can keep our hopes up.

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:23 AM
KendaWest KendaWest is offline
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Atopica save my ****zu's life. He was very healthy for a couple of years, and suddenly he started breaking out in large sores all over his body. His skin appeared it was rotting away and lost all his hair. His weight dropped to 4 kg when he was normally about 8kg. He was constantly bloody and pussy and had to change his sheets daily because they were so soiled.

My heart broke for my little puppy, and we hopped from vet to vet for about 18 months, and all we got was antibiotics from everyone, and he only seemed to get worse and worse. We finally found a vet that took him off the antibiotics and tried all sorts of things. The final medication we tried was Atopica. The vet even told me that this was his last chance, and if this did not work we would have to put him down...

So we started him on Atopica.....Wk 1 nothing...Wk 2 nothing...Wk 3 nothing (starting to panic)...Wk4 the open sores are starting to dry up!!!...Wk 5 he is no longer so hot and radiant of heat...Wk 6 the open sores have turned into large dried scabs...wk 7 his skin was not hot pink anymore...wk 8 the scabs are starting to come away with healed skin underneath...

6 months on, after nearly 2 years of sickness, Hershey my ****zu is a beakon of health. Happy, energetic, his hair has completly grown back thick and healthy, he is back up to 8kg and you would never know he was the same dog.

I prayed for so long that somthing would fix my dog, and it came to me... Please try atopica!
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:24 AM
KendaWest KendaWest is offline
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lol it put stars in... My dog is a Shi tzu
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 09:33 AM
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Marty11 Marty11 is offline
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Sick on Atopica

My dog was prescribed atopica. She cut down the itching by 50% and her coat returned to normal. However she is very sick on this med. I have to wonder how she is feeling all day, she vomits a lot. I did try antinausea medicine and also tried to give it with her food. I don't know what to do, let her scratch or vomit.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 04:25 AM
JennyPerry JennyPerry is offline
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My dog has just started treatment with Atopica and is also very sick. He was previously on Prednisalone which eventually caused Cushing's Disease. He has been on Atopica for 3 weeks but it is making him have shaking/trembling fits and he can hardly get up on some days because his back legs give way and he can't support his weight. He also has a bad heart and is on VetMedin, so I'm not sure if it is his heart or the Atopica or a combination of both. My vet can't seem to give me a satisfactory answer as to whether I should discontinue the Atopica or reduce the dose. It is really heartbreaking to see him suffer in this way but as the vet says we are running out of options. Has anyone any advice to offer please. Jenny
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Old July 21st, 2009, 02:49 PM
Harriet Harriet is offline
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I have a Min. Schnauzer that is 3 years old. She has been diagnosed with
large cell lymphoma. She has always suffered with allgeries, to the point of taking Atopica everyday. She also took predisone everyother day. She would still itch.... In the last month her lymphnodes have swollen....after a
biopsy she now has cancer....Please be carefull with these drugs.....I can't
say that Atopia or predisone had anyting to do with Hannah having cancer
but I wonder. Now she has maybe 6 months to live.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:56 PM
robogd robogd is offline
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What made you decide to go with Atopica? What did you try before that if anything and was there a reason you finally decided to go with that drug? My dog is having allergy issues and the vet just mentioned Atopica but the price is restrictive. The consensus seems to be that it works but just wondering what made you decide it was the right solution for you.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 08:08 AM
mivas mivas is offline
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Whenever I read about cyclosporine use, I come across the vague "longterm" in describing length of use and side effects as a result. What is considered "longterm" use? A few weeks, months, years? Thanks.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:18 AM
laurabird laurabird is offline
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Last chance?

So as with many of you, I have been having countless problems with finding a vet that that can actually tell me what is wrong with my dog. He's a 4 year old pittbull who's life has been all over the place.

His problem seems to be his head, as he has a beautiful coat, keeps weight on, it fluctuates slightyly but for the most part is good. But his ears are always bothering him, his eyes always weepy and swollen looking, and he has a bald spot on top of his head.

So we have had biopsies and blood tests done and it's always been the same, prednisone and antibiotics; we haven't been able to get an answer from anyone of the 6 or 8 vets we've had him to in the past 2 years (he was a rescue) So now we have a vet that has suggested Atopica, and I've been trying to figure out if this would be right for him?

With the amount of problems people are seeing with this drug is it out-weighing the health problems your pets have been going through? Is it worth the money and the sickness your pets seem to be going through? Or should we stick it out on the steroids which do work really well, but we wean him off for at least one month before the next round of them as they are hard on his system. So by the time the next round comes up he is feeling ill again...

Any advice would be great! I am going to talk to the vet about Atopica more today, but am still not sure if the pro's outway the con's? Thanks for any insight or hope.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 07:31 PM
mg0219 mg0219 is offline
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Predisone with Atopica causes Cancer????

I have a male Husky mix who just turned 10 years old. In January he started experiencing issue with his balance that eventually became so bad that he had trouble standing. It was like the humam version of Vertigo.

When I took him to the vet, the told me they had to do an MRI because they think he has encephalitis. Of course, after $2700 the MRI came back inconclusive. My vet prescribed Predisone. His condition improved immediately so after 4 weeks my vet wanted to start weening him off the Predisone due to long term effects and introduced Atopica. Well, within the first week on Atopica, his condition started to deteriate again. So back to full strength Predisone. I wanted to stop the Atopica but my vet said it would be best for him to continue treatment.

We had a follow-up appointment last Friday and now, in addition to Predisone and Atopica, I have been giving my dog shots of Cytosar - Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy!!! In reading some of these posts and hearing that Predisone along with Atopica can cause cancer, needless to say I am confused, and angry.

I, too, don't know if Atopica or Predisone causes cancer but I have been researching each of these meds and I haven't found anything about Atopica Cyclosporine that has been positive.

I don't know what to do at this point other than see another vet. The problem with that is, my vet is part of the best animal hospital for infectous disease in the NJ/NY area.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 10:17 PM
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Marty11 Marty11 is offline
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My dog did not do well on Atopica and is doing OK on steroids. I tried to cut her dose down but it did not work well. I really don't know were to go with this?
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Old June 29th, 2010, 09:51 PM
Saki Saki is offline
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My persian cat was placed on Atopica about 3 1/2 weeks ago after being diagnosed(by skin biopsy) with Pemphigus Foliaceus, an auto-immune skin disease that occurs in both cats and dogs. There are several different types, the one she has somewhat less severe than others. All the same, she has suffered considerably.

She had been on prednisone for several years for what her vet believed was some sort of environmental and, possible food allergy. For about the first 1 1/2 years she did well on the steroids and a hypoallergenic diet, but at some point she stopped responding and had perpetual scabbing about her face and neck. About three months ago she developed a scaly, red and warm to the touch abdomen. She was constantly scratching and, as a result, bleeding and soiling her bed daily. Out of desperation my vet referred her to a dermatologist. She immediately told me she suspected Pemphigus based on the type of sores, and the fact that it was confined mainly to the face, neck and abdomen. Within a few days we had a definitive diagnosis and the Atopica was started. Although not approved for use in cats, it is prescribed for them when indicated. She had some initial nausea, and the vet recommended I freeze the capsules as research suggested this might cut down on that symptom in some animals. Perhaps it's just coincidence, but since I've been doing this there have been no further instances of vomiting.

My cat has now been on the medication for several weeks, and for the first few days she did seem to improve, followed by a worsening of symptoms that required she go in for a short-acting prednisone shot. She had several days of relief followed by more of the same symptoms. I was at my wit's end last week when the dermatologist called and said her routine skin test for ringworm had come back positive! She then informed me that the prednisone and the Atopica could exacerbate that, and that she would now have to take an oral fungal drug(in addition to Atopica) to treat it. Fortunately the prednisone has now all but left her system. I have no idea how she got ringworm(strictly indoors), but the vet told me that anything that suppresses the immune system(prednisone and Atopica), can make cats, in particular, more susceptible to fungal diseases. Makes sense to me, but it's stressful for both her and me juggling this medical protocol. The positive news I have is that in the last few days I've noticed some changes in her skin. Some of the sores appear to be drying out, she is scratching less and is less lethargic. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, although I've accepted that she might be on this medicine the rest of her life. She is 14 with no other health problems, and I'm willing to do whatever I must to insure the remainder of her days are the best quality possible.

I've been doing some comparison shopping online for the best Atopica price, and have found a significant price difference at several places over what I'll be paying the vet's office every month. If I learned one thing in my many years of caring for pets, it's that with a little research you can find ways to significantly reduce yours costs while still meeting your pet's needs. My husband and I spent four years caring for a cat with kidney failure who was on subQ fluids daily, among other treatments. It was incredibly expensive initially, before we found cost-saving supplies through reputable companies online. Because this was possible, we saved a ton of money and were able to give him an outstanding quality of life for his final years. We have other pets-cats and dogs--who are fortunately healthy right now.

By the way, anyone who has a dog suffering from some unidentifiable skin disorder might want to research Pemphigus. Although it isn't as common as some skin disorders, there is a lot of information online. I had never heard of this disease, and even though I feel terrible that my pet has suffered much discomfort, I'm relieved for both her and me that we finally have a diagnosis and the prospect of successful treatment.

I will update on my pet's condition within the next week. I'm hoping she will steadily improve once the fungal infection is under control. I'll be more brief next time!
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Old September 17th, 2010, 01:35 PM
MrSmithster MrSmithster is offline
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Worked for us

My 21 lb. Terrier mix started showing skin allergy issues at about 1 1/2 yrs old. Within a few months she was raw on her belly, groin, lower legs, and bottom of her paws and was just miserable. Chewing and itching constantly and her belly was "hot" to the touch with her groin area always damp, black/maroon skin yeast infections all over and smelled bad. Tried half a dozen Vets and every treatment available with no real luck other than steroids, which turned my great dog into a peeing zombie dog, she must have drank 3 bowls of water a day, gained 3 lbs in a few months and just wanted to hide and sleep all the time. I couldn't do that to her, so I finally found a great Vet that was willing to work with me. After testing showed food(tried ever special diet out there) and environmental allergies, my Vet suggested Atopica. I purchased 2 months worth and started her on 1 a day, same time every day with no food and on an empty stomach. My dog tolerates the medicine very well. I just get the pill wet and drop it down her throat. Never any vomiting or other issues. Willow does extremely well on this stuff. It does take about 3-4 weeks to see noticeable improvement. I have tried going to 1 pill every other day, but she will start itching. Even skipping every 3rd or 4th day doesn't work. I have to keep her on 1 pill a day and she looks and acts just like normal. I dont notice any side effects from the Atopica at all. For my dog it cost me approx $110 a month for Atopica so recently I asked my Vet about generic brands. He said he cant sell them due to his contract with the Atopica supplier, but he did give me referrals for online purchasing of generic brands. I had read many posts of Atopica users not having good luck with generic brands, but Willow is doing real good on the generic brand TEVA, which costs $65 a month and is sold by a company about 10 miles away from me. She has been on the generic now for about 9 months and looks and acts just like normal. Willow is also on a 1 protein source, no grain diet. She is allergic to just about all meat other than fish, so I have found only 2 brands of food she can tolerate. One is Orijen fish kibble and the other is Wellness Core fish kibble. Some fish formulas use chicken fat, which Willow cant tolerate so these are the only brands I have found work for her. She also gets 3 fish oil pills a day and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar(works great at keeping any skin yeast away). I dont know what the long term effect are, my Vet says he there isn't enough data in yet, but he feels it is safe for long term use. I wish she didnt need to be on anything, but when I have tried to remove her from taking this, she reverts right back to the horrible symptoms I mention above. This stuff has given me my dog back, and she is the best dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing(and I have had many other dogs over the years), she is really special.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Question itchy reaction to cyclosporine?

My dog is thriving on cyclosporine after just a few months. Her hair has grown back, her energy levels have returned, we are very happy. However, within a couple of hours of giving her the medication(every other evening) she goes through a phase for a couple of hours when she itches obsessively and uncontrollably. Benadryl does not seem to help. She becomes frantic, pants heavily, and chews at herself with a vegeance. Has anyone else witnessed this, and does anyone have any advice?
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Old November 13th, 2010, 10:05 PM
Pups Pups is offline
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Shared Experience

Last year we started our 3 year old yellow Lab, Annie, on Atopica. After several weeks, her scratching lessened significantly, her beautiful coat returned and she was much more herself. It was wonderful. Then, at some point I noticed that about 1 or 2 hours after we gave her the Atopica, she would start scratching compulsively, just as you described. This would go on for several hours, and sometimes through the night. We stopped the Atopica after a few months to try other remedies, including homeopathic medicines and bio feedback, which helped but nothing stopped the scratching. We started her on Atopica again this week. I always wondered about the increased scratching after taking Atopica. I searched everywhere for possible explanations or for others who experienced this but never found anything until I read your post.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 12:05 AM
Phyrie Phyrie is offline
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Pups and ADKKAYA,
That is very interesting. My 4 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Kiba) has been on Atopica for at least six months now. It's incredibly expensive, but we save a bit buying it from universalpetmeds. I, too, have noticed Kiba itching and chewing sometimes after taking the med. Now I wonder if that's just another side effect!

We've had Kiba allergy tested (blood tests) and it would be easier to tell you what he's NOT allergic to, than what he is! He's allergic to cedar and juniper trees (we live in the middle of a cedar forest!), many grasses, plants, spore and yeasts. He's allergic to US! Yes, my dear little dog is allergic to human skin epithelials. He's allergic to chicken, potatoes, and carrots. NOT wheat! Go figure. He's allergic to fleas. And many, many other things. Anyway, there's isn't much we can do except keep his environment as clean as we can, and we no longer give him chicken. He's a raw fed dog (which really helped when we started!) and I think that makes a difference.

I'm hoping we will be able to reduce his dosage to one capsule every other day, but I've tried that once, and his symptoms came right back. My husband is less than thrilled that we may be looking at thousands and thousands of dollars in medication for the rest of his life. I try to look at as if he had diabetes. We would pay for his insulin treatment, right? So, why not this?

Last edited by GateKeeper; February 8th, 2011 at 12:17 AM.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 08:53 PM
TxTiki TxTiki is offline
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Shot therapy

I disagree that shot therapy is useless. I took my Westie to a dog dermatologist a year ago and she has been on shot therapy for a year. There is a marked improvement in her symptoms, her skin, her coat, and she just keeps getting better.

Some dogs do respond well to allergy shot therapy. Best of all, it is treating the cause, not the symptoms, and there aren't the bad side effects there are with various medications.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:00 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I have limited experience with Atopica, used for treatment in fistula cases.

The first night I gave it to Max, he went and hid in his crate for 4 hours. He was freaked out, very weak and wobbly. I ended up breaking open the capsules and using only a fraction of the drug each day. While that was better tolerated, it didn't help him, and I stopped it completely.

In the United States, you can get compounded modified cyclosporine (generic Atopica), and so far the best price on the 100 mg seems to be when we put our dogs on the health plan at Walgreen's and get their discount. I believe that Costco has the lower dose generic cyclo cheaper at the member price, though I could be wrong on that. The vet may not be able to sell generic Atopica, but the vet certainly should be able to write a script for it?????

My boy is allergic to just about everything. I've found that a homecooked limited ingredient diet (no grains, only meats and veggies primarily), supportive supplements (vitamin C, fresh ground flax, good multivitamin, etc.), etc. and lots of laundry to keep bedding and such clean, helps a lot.

I used to take allergy shots myself, and they helped a lot. I've seen them help dogs, and also do nothing for dogs, on the forums. I would certainly have a full thyroid panel also run.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 02:27 PM
calisgrandma calisgrandma is offline
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Wow! Our dog has been on Atopic for about 2 weeks and had an episode where she collapsed and had a hard itme getting back up. We rushed her to the vet but she recovered fairly quickly. He didn't think it was the Atopica but we are pretty sure it is. They ran a bunch of blood tests and we should get results in the next week. She seems fine now but we haven't given her the pill since the day before yeasterday. We're going to give it to her tonight a couple of hours after she eats. Other side effects are stomach upset and diarreah.

We will see what happens tonight but hse sure starts to itch if we don't do something! She had been on steriods for over a year and those made her start to break out in some very scary looking scabby things! That mess is finally starting to clear up.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 11:18 AM
longtallsally longtallsally is offline
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Be very cautious with atopica

If you look at the information for cyclosporine in human medications, it says that it can cause skin cancer, lymphoma, high blood pressure and kidney failure. I got a call from someone that bought a dog from us years ago, and it was put on cyclosporine/atopica. It has developed kidney failure. Along with the various other replies in this topic, it sounds like this med has a lot of down sides, and some can be fatal. This is a very sad thing for us, but the owners thought they were doing something good, and gave the dog this drug at the suggestion of their vet. I read another post somewhere that said a dermatologist vet specialist won't use this drug. Maybe there's a good reason for that.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 09:43 PM
2Shibas 2Shibas is offline
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Just started Atopica

I have a 4 year old Shiba Inu who presented with allergies when she was about 2. She licks, scratches, and bites at her legs and paws mostly, but when we first started this mess she licked and scratched the hair off her hind legs and rump. I have been to a total of 5 vets with her. Started with Benadryl and every other antihistamine coupled with antibiotics for secondary infections...none worked. The steroids worked, but like everyone else I didn't want to keep her on it for very long. I live in south Texas so summers, which last most of the year, are her worst times. During the winter she seems to do well without any medication. Last year I decided to do the allergy testing and start the allergy shots. Turns out she is allergic to everything!! Fortunately, she has improved a lot on them. She itches less severely during the summer months (May through September/October). The shots have extended the time in which she would have had to be on a steroid and seems to have stopped the itching and hair loss on her butt.

This year (in fact today) I started her on Atopica. I am under the impression that she won't need to be on this long term, and it is a better medication than steroids to get her through her seasonal allergies. My derm. recommended 100mg for her, even though she is only 30lbs. I gave it to her on an empty stomach and fed her an hour later. An hour after she ate she had diarrhea - as well as being really restless, panting heavily, increased itching on her paws and looking generally uncomfortable. It has now been 2 hours since I gave her the pill and she is resting comfortably under the bed.

I am very concerned about giving her this medication (more so after reading all these posts), but more concerned about the long term effects of keeping her on a steroid. When she was on them she gained a lot of weight and her appetite was insatiable.

Hopefully the diarrhea clears up without having to put her on Fortaflora (a waste of money I think). And hopefully this treatment works for her. Like many others I have been through a slew of treatments...antihistamines, shampoos, sprays, oils, steroids, specialty diets, etc. The shots, although expensive, improved her condition, but she still needs spot treatments during the summer months. As a side note, she has been eating Royal Canin Skin Support for a few years now - Shibas are picky eaters and she seems to not get tired of this one. It has the added omegas for her skin too in lieu of giving her fish oil supplements. Atopica is expensive, I am paying $180 for a month supply. Hopefully she will be able to taper off a bit and that will decrease or I can switch to generic. For now I just hope it works without severe side effects. So, that's my story. I will update as she progresses through her treatment.

Thanks for reading.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 10:09 AM
Bernie's Mom Bernie's Mom is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
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Exclamation Be careful with Atopica!

I would be VERY CAREFUL with using Atopica. My 7 1/2 year old Pomeranian was in excellent health except for itching on his stomach...no fleas, no food allergies, etc. He was started on Temaril-P for 2 weeks April 25th. On May 7th, he was started on Atopica too. Three days later, we noticed he was heavily panting. On May 27th, out of the blue the doctor said he had a very pronounced heart murmer; even though he had NEVER had one his entire life.

June 14th, we awoke and found him having a seizure. Took him to the vet, who said his heart murmor was very pronounced, but everything else was great; i.e, clear lungs, no coughing, EVERYTHING functioning normally. June 17th, we awoke and found him having another seizure and when he came out of it, he was coughing typical of a dog with fluid on the heart; called vet and Novartis (mfg of Atopica) right away. At 0800, he had another seizure as we were getting ready to take him to the vet. At 10:00, he had another seizure and went into full cardiac arrest and died. The vet said his heart and lungs were engorged with fluid.

Novartis has been extremely helpful. They are paying for a full autopsy to find out why this young, healthy dog (except for itching) would suddenly develop a fatal heart condition and die within 5 weeks of taking the medication. My family is devistated and in shock over losing our little friend.

Be VERY Careful...I researched the medicine when it was prescribed to him, but did not find any of the adverse postings until now that it is too late.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 11:36 AM
AmyGin AmyGin is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Victoria BC Canada
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I have a Male Pitbull named Premo he is 3 1/2, he has been on Prednison for a over year 2 pills a day could not lower his dose or he would itch like crazy cause sores. Premo has never had very much hair and is pink skinned and white hair makes him a target for allergies.

When we first found out all the itching was because of allergies the vet put him on Prednison worked wonders but as she told us its not a long term drug because of all the issues it causes. So we tries Atopica and took him off Prednison, was horrible he was back to his old self sores every where scratching like crazy so we put him back on Prednison.

A year and a half later Premo started to lose his hair, so we took him to the vet. He has early signs of Cushin's Disease because of the prednison, as well as getting skin infections. So it was either we kept him on the prednison and he just got worse and have a short life or try Atopica again. So we desided to try him on Atopica again but keep him on Prednison but slowly ween him off.

for 7 days he took 1 pill of prednison every 12 hours and 150mg of atopica every 24 hours

then 7days of 1 pill of prednison for every 24 hours and 150 mg of atopica

Then 7 days of 1/2 a pill of Prednison for every 24 hour and 150mg of Atopic
( which is fantasic we could not take him off 2 pills a day with out him scratching like crazy)

So today is his last day of Prednison

his hair is growing back again and is doing awesome

so now the plan is 1month of 150mg alone every 24 hours

1month of 100mg every 24 hours

and so on and so on to see how low of a dose we can get away with.

We think the first time he was put on Atopica we did not have time to get it into his blood stream because hes allergies get so bad so quickly. But slowly taking him off the Prednison and pumping him with Atpoica has seem to have worked for us. As well as a weekly bath.

It is quite expensive I know but its worth it.

I have pet insurance for both my dogs through Truepanion (vet insurance) so I get 90% coverage of all premo's pills and treatments Which as saved me BIG TIME
I do recommend it to anyone who gets a dog (or cat) U never know when or what could happen. It does not go by breed but by age so the younger u get them in the cheaper!!

Anyways I just wanted to share because I could not find anyone else with a pitbull going through the same thing and had success Until recently through a pet convention I found a lady with a pitbull who had the same issues and used Atopica and is now weening her female off the drug because she has had such a positive reaction to it.

It gives u hope I guess in knowing something other then Prednison can help
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Old June 18th, 2011, 12:00 PM
Bernie's Mom Bernie's Mom is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
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Atopica and Prednisone

That's exactly the regime we did with Bernie..the Atopica at first appeared to be a God-send. His hair came back, his itching stopped, his stomach was not pink...until 2 days before he died when out of the blue he started having seizures.

The preliminary autoposy stated congestive heart failure was cause of death. Signs of Cushing's disease; even though we tested him beforehand and POSITIVELY NO SIGNS OF CUSHINGS or Thyroid issues prior to administering the Temeril-P and Atopica. I heard the antihistamine in the Temaril-P causes the Atopica cyclosporine to "double"in strength...I believe it led to an overdose in such a small dog.

If you read on the toxicity levels of the cyclosporine, that is what can occur. Along with the prednisone, it can case "Cushings" like symptoms. The Atopica was originally used in large doses to prevent organ rejection in organ transplant patients, it increases blood pressure and heart rate.

We are still in shock and grieving. I hope your dog does well.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:58 PM
AmyGin AmyGin is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 2
Sooooo We fully stopped the Prednison on Friday and Wed he started itching like mad again scratching to the point of bleeding all around his neck and chest

Had to give him half a prednison this morning and tonight

very disappointed
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