Apoquel Review – Side Effects, Dosing Chart & More!

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Apoquel Review

Apoquel Review – Side Effects, Dosing Chart & More!

Any dog owner will tell you that no matter how much care and effort they’ve put into their dogs’ health and external surroundings, at one point, they find that their dog is facing allergies. Yes, allergies. Dogs, like humans, also have to face allergies and like us, they’re due to a range of different reasons such as environmental changes, food and other dietary issues and even flea- something which we humans don’t suffer from.

But allergies in dogs is different from humans in the sense that while we may resist the temptation to scratch ourselves senseless, our poor pets don’t really have that much restraint.

Read Also :How To Tell If your Dog Is Allergic

You’ll find them scratching as though their life depended on it and, to a dog owner, that’s not a good sight. Especially if your pet is suffering from flea related allergies.

dogs scraching

These are the worst and you’ll be shocked to know that there have been cases of dogs biting themselves to relieve the pain. It’s an agonizing sight which no dog owner wants to see. And, to be honest, no dog should go through that. They’re adorable creatures which should be treated with love and care and allergies, what with the onset of pain and agony they bring to our pets, just shouldn’t be part of the equation.

Thank god, other veterinarians and medication companies feel the same which is why they’ve introduced a whole range of allergy related medication to help our dogs. One such allergy combatant medication is called Apoquel.

What You Should Know About Apoquel?


Apoquel medication

Apoquel is one of the best allergy medications available for dogs in the market. However, you will need a prescription to purchase Apoquel for your pet. In an ideal world, once you’re sure that your dog is suffering from allergies, you could easily go to the medical store and get the medication for it but that’s not the case.

Apoquel is specifically designed to address the source of the itch, providing fast-acting relief and minimal side effects, Apoquel is not a steroid, cyclosporine or antihistamine. It belongs to a type of drugs tthat is called Janus kinase inhibitors, which target the signaling pathway that results in itching and inflammation.

You will need to go to the vet to get a prescription for Apoquel. This brings us to our current situation where we’re posting a detailed account on Apoquel, its side effects, dosing charts and more since a lot of pet owners often get worried about the medication prescribed to their pets. So, don’t worry! Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll learn everything about Apoquel and why it’s good for your dog.

Apoquel Review 

Developed by Zoetis, Apoquel is actually the marketed brand name for a drug called oclacitinib which helps to get rid of itching in dogs. In case you were curious, the medical term for itching is canine pruritus and it’s the most common way of determining whether your dog has an allergy or not. Once the itching becomes prevalent, you have to visit your vet so that they can provide your dog with Apoquel to help get rid of it.

Apoquel helps combat a range of different types of allergies. It also helps combat chronic allergies. Chronic allergies are the worst because your dog will suffer from it through his or her life. As you can imagine, having such an allergy can drastically change your dog’s quality of life but if you’re using Apoquel, you don’t have to worry about that!

Apoquel works first. It takes about four hours for it to start working so that means that once you administer Apoquel onto your dog, within four hours, your pet will begin to get better. The itching will start to slow down causing your dog to stop scratching or biting.

Within twelve to twenty-four hours, Apoquel begins to tackle the symptoms of the itching and then starts to strengthen the immune system of your dog against these allergies as well as enhancing defense mechanisms to stop future itching. Apoquel controls the immune system to stop and respond to these sensations since it’s a JAK, short for Janus Kinase Inhibitor, which are special inhibitors created artificially via medication to perform specification functions. In our case, JAKs help to defend our dog’s immune system and respond to the threat of the allergy.

Apoquel Side Effects

Now, on to the side effects. You should be very much aware of the fact that feeding Apoquel to your dog will have some side effects. Just remember that Apoquel is a JAK and this is common with inhibitors even for humans.

For animals it may seem severe but everything’s under control. So, some of side effects of Apoquel include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, higher levels of cholesterol and pneumonia. All of these go away after a while but if they get worse, then we immediately advise to rush to the vet.

Do note that it is extremely rare for your dog to get worse after consuming Apoquel. These side effects last for up to a week but the point is, at the end of it, your dog will be rid of their allergies and will come out stronger than before!

Apoquel Dosing Chart


Of course, to many dog owners, the side effects of Apoquel might be alarming but at the end of the day, you should remember that it is a chemical created by us to help relieve our dogs. So, there had to be side effects. But these side effects aren’t really painful, and they usually stop after the first few days of feeding. And if your dog’s health is better, what more could you as a pet parent want?

Hope that sorts out any hesitation from your part because now we’re going to talk about dosage. When you’re giving Apoquel to your dog, remember that it is only FDA approved until fourteen days. After fourteen days Apoquel may be harmful to your dog so it’s important that you keep track of it.

  • Administer to your dog orally twice daily for up to 14 days

Your vet will give your dog a dosage  twice a day up to fourteen days according to the weight chart below, then administer once daily for maintenance dose.


The number of tablets your dog will consume depends upon how severe their allergies are. After fourteen days, vets typically tell you to stop giving them and if the allergy was severe then the dosage cuts down to one or twice a week.

Please note that Apoquel should not be used on dogs who are less than a year old, and if your vet does prescribe your one-year old dog Apoquel, then you should speak to them in detail about it.

Cytopoint Vs Apoquel

Now that you know the basics of Apoquel, it’s time to see the results compared to another anti-allergy medication for dogs. While there are many such medications out, the one we will talk about today is called Cytopoint.

Read Also : Cytopoint For Dogs – Atopic Dermatitis & Canine Allergy Injection

Compared to Apoquel, Cytopoint is a much newer product and it is an injection which you can administer on your dog. It lasts for four to five weeks and it is strictly forbidden to administer the injection yourself. A vet must to do it all times. Apoquel, on the other hand, is very easy to use this. As a pet owner, all you need to do is visit the vet once and he or she will give the dosage and then you can give Apoquel to your dog.

However, one thing which Cytopoint has over Apoquel is that you don’t need to constantly feed it to your dog. Cytopoint only needs to be used once and that will last for a few weeks. As we know, Apoquel needs to be given for fourteen days continuously, and even then, you will witness the side effects on your dog’s health.

But, as we’ve mentioned previously, these side effects tend to go away with time and some dogs don’t really experience them at all.

The side effects of Cytopoint is that your dog may develop rashes or swelling around the area where they were injected and honestly, that just sounds like more pain to us. Therefore, we prefer sticking to Apoquel because it’s an allergy medication that works on dogs and there’s a significant improvement in their condition within four hours! Cytopoint doesn’t work that quickly and, while there is a danger of your dog reacting badly to Cytopoint, there have been very, very rare incidences where Apoquel badly affected a dog.

Apoquel quickly seems to improve the condition of a dog’s allergy and as dog owners that is something we hope to achieve as soon as possible when our pet is having an allergic reaction to something.

In the end, it’s really up to you and your choice but we prefer using Apoquel. It’s one of the best allergy medications for dogs and veterinarians recommend it as well. It’s a prescribed medication so you have to have a doctor’s note to get it which makes it very difficult to be misused. All you have to do is follow the vet’s instructions on how to use it and your dog will be fine in a few hours.


5 thoughts on “Apoquel Review – Side Effects, Dosing Chart & More!

  1. Apoquel is outrageously expensive. Zoetis is gouging pet owners badly because they don’t allow a generic pill. As soon as an alternative is available, dump Zoetis. This company is unethical.

  2. This is a dangerous drug. My healthy Doberman was taking this for 2 years and then developed liver problems. After much research, we found out that Apoquel caused it. Researchers only followed the dogs, that were taking this, for 1 month. Yes, 1 month. No research was done on long term side effects. Now dog owners are finding out how dangerous this is. If you love your dog, please do not give them Apoquel.

  3. Could I give my dog a double dose occasionally of apoquel? Sometimes her itching is worse and I thought an occasional double dose would help make a difference with itching.

    1. Hi,
      I am no expert in these issues, I cannot give valid information, you need to check with a veterinarian 🙂

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