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Animal medicines (icon image). Photo:

What is Apoquel®?

Apoquel® is a medication for dogs to treat allergic and atopic dermatitis (skin inflammation). It is available as a film-coated tablet and as a chewable tablet.

What active ingredients does Apoquel® contain?

Apoquel® contains the active ingredient oclacitinib. This is a so-called immunomodulator, which changes the activity of the body’s defense system (immune system). Oclacitinib blocks the action of certain enzymes Janus kinases.

The Janus kinases, in turn, are on inflammation and itching involved – typical symptoms of allergic and atopic dermatitis in dogs. By blocking these Janus kinases, oclacitinib reduces symptoms.

Apoquel® is available in the following dosage forms and dosages:

  • Apoquel® film-coated tablets 3.6 mg
  • Apoquel® film-coated tablets 5.4 mg
  • Apoquel® film-coated tablets 16 mg
  • Apoquel® chewable tablets 3.6 mg
  • Apoquel® chewable tablets 5.4 mg
  • Apoquel® chewable tablets 16 mg

The Apoquel® tablets contain 3.6 mg, 5.4 mg or 16 mg oclacitinib, which as Oclacitinib maleate present.

The Apoquel® film-coated tablets are white to off-white, oblong in shape and scored on both sides.

The Apoquel® chewable tablets taste like pork liver and are usually easier to give to dogs.

When is Apoquel® used?

Apoquel® is used to treat allergic and atopic dermatitis (skin inflammation) in dogs. The active ingredient oclacitinib mainly helps against the itching that occurs with allergic dermatitis.

How should Apoquel® be administered?

Apoquel® will administered orally, that is, over the dog’s mouth. It is best to give your dog the Apoquel® film-coated tablets with the food or in a treat so that it absorbs them better. The Apoquel® chewable tablets have a taste pork liverso that the dogs usually like to eat them.

Your veterinarian will tell you the dose to give your dog. The recommended initial dose of Apoquel® is 0.4 to 0.6 mg oclacitinib per kilogram body weight twice a day for up to 14 days.

For maintenance therapy, it is recommended to only use the same dose, i.e. also 0.4 to 0.6 mg oclacitinib per kilogram of body weight once a day to administer.

Whether your dog Apoquel® take long term should, your veterinarian weighs individually with regard to the benefits and risks.

What side effects does Apoquel® have?

Side effects are possible during therapy with Apoquel®. Frequently occurring side effects of Apoquel® are:

These occur less frequently side effects from Apoquel® on:

  • Purulent skin inflammation (pyoderma)
  • Skin lump (histiocytoma)
  • fat lump (lipoma)
  • Yeast infections of the skin (candidiasis)
  • ear infection (otitis)
  • Bladder infection (cystitis)
  • Pododermatitis (Bumble Foot)
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • nausea
  • appetite increase
  • aggressions
  • changes in blood values

Apoquel® should not applied become at:

  • Hypersensitivity to the active substance oclacitinib
  • Dogs less than 12 months old
  • Dogs weighing less than 3 kg
  • immune-compromised dogs
  • dogs with cancer

Additional information

Important note: Please note that this text does not constitute advice, a recommendation or a solicitation with regard to the purchase and/or use of medication. The medical information does not constitute such advice, nor is it intended to replace a visit to the veterinarian, ie a personal consultation, examination or diagnosis by a licensed veterinarian. They are for your information only and are not intended to encourage self-diagnosis or self-treatment of your pet. If your animal has health problems, please always contact a veterinarian!

Author: dr medical Martin Waitz
Date of last update: Aug 2022
European Medicines Agency (EMA): Apoquel (oclacitinib) Overview of Apoquel and rationale for approval in the EU. (accessed: August 2022)
Zoetis: Package leaflet Apoquel. information/utility information-apoquel.pdf accessed: August 2022)
Zoetis: technical information Apoquel. accessed: August 2022)

Keywords: Allergic Dermatitis, Allergic Dermatitis, Apoquel, Atopic Dermatitis, Oclacitinib

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