Atopica (Cyclosporine)
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At a Glance
FDA-approved medication that soothes inflammation and immune-related issues
Ultra-micronized preparation to increase the bioavailability
Available in different dosages for different sized dogs
Easy-to-administer capsule form

Atopica (Cyclosporine)

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Generic available: Generic alternative is Cyclosporine
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At a Glance
FDA-approved medication that soothes inflammation and immune-related issues
Ultra-micronized preparation to increase the bioavailability
Available in different dosages for different sized dogs
Easy-to-administer capsule form

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Total Price

Elanco Animal Health Logo

Comprehensive Guide to Atopica for Dogs

What Is Atopica for Dogs?

Atopica for dogs is an FDA-approved medicine used to treat allergic dermatitis and skin allergies. Atopica's active ingredient Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressive medication that can prevent organ rejection in organ transplants, treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis. It is being proven to be an effective treatment for IBD.

What Is Atopica Used for in Dogs?

Your dog can suffer from red, scaly, and inflamed skin because of his allergies. This medicine targets the root cause of the itchiness, ensuring your pet doesn't feel the need to itch or scratch in the first place.

Atopica is used to treat other types of inflammatory conditions in dogs like Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia & Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia. This medicine is also used in both cats and dogs as an immunosuppressant during renal transplants and anal furunculosis treatment.

How Does Atopica Work?

Atopica works by inhibiting the function of the T-Lymphocyte function. This medicine reduces the working of an enzyme called calcineurin by binding intracellular cyclophilins, which in turn inhibits the production of cytokines.

Cytokines are produced by the body when the body is fighting inflammation and infection. Overproduction of cytokines can result in a cytokine storm, which is a severe condition and can be fatal without proper intervention.

What Is the Atopica Dosage for Dogs?

The dosage guidelines to orally administer Atopica for dogs is different for different conditions. If the dog is overweight or underweight, the specific condition under treatment, how healthy the dog is, the severity of the medical condition are all factors in deciding the dosage.

For atopic dermatitis, the dosage is generally 5mg per kilo of bodyweight. Treatment of IBD follows the same guidelines. Thus, Atopica for dogs 100 mg will be prescribed for a 20-pound patient.

The dosage range to treat anal furunculosis is 4-8mg per kilo of bodyweight. Finally, Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia & Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia needs doses of 7.5 - 10 mg per kilo of bodyweight.

Are There Any Precautions I Have to Take When Giving Atopica to Dogs?

The following dogs should not take Atopica medication:

  • Those that weigh less than 4 pounds or are less than six months old
  • Those that are pregnant or recently given birth and are currently lactating
  • Those who are allergic to Cyclosporine
  • Those who have kidney disease or have an active infection

Atopica for dogs has no known drug interactions. If you are giving your medicine any OTC medications or supplements, please tell your vet about it before starting any prescribed treatment.

What Are the Side Effects of This Medicine?

Atopica for dogs side effects includes:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Skin growths
  • Overgrowths in the gums

These side effects are common and usually mild. If you see them worsen or increase in severity, you should contact your vet immediately. You should also contact your vet as soon as you have signs of infection like a high fever.

How Do I Administer Atopica to My Dog?

Atopica can be administered in oral capsules. You can hide the capsule in the dog's regular food or hide it in special treats like boiled chicken or liver. Edible treats like pill pockets are designed to hide different medicines for dogs. Generally, oral medication is given after food, but you should follow your vet's guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How Long Does Atopica Take to Work?

    You can expect to start seeing results in two weeks. For the full effects of this medication to show, it can take as long as four to six weeks. If your dog will be on Atopica long-term, your vet may start off at the lowest dose and then systematically increase the dosage as and if required.

  2. What if I Forget to Give a Dose of Atopica for Dogs?

    If the time for the next dose is close, then skip the missed dose. If you have missed giving the dose by a smaller margin and there is a significant amount of time left for the next dose, you should be able to administer the missed dose safely. Consult the vet if you have any doubts or if you need any clarifications.

  3. What if I Give a Double Dose of Atopica?

    Contact your vet immediately if you have given a double dose of Atopica for dogs. You should keep your dog under strict observation and let your vet know about any signs of distress your dog may be showing. If you have administered a double dose before by mistake, you should take precautions to prevent it from happening again.

  4. Where Should I Store This Food?

    Store Atopica for dogs at room temperature in a place far away from where your dogs, cats, and children can reach. They can suffer adverse side effects if they ingest it accidentally and in doses that are too high for them. You should keep it away from direct sunlight in an airtight container. Avoid contact with moisture, heat, or water.

An effective and affordable generic of Atopica is Cyclosprine.

  • Elanco Animal Health Brand
  • Skin & Coat Pharmacy
  • Itch Relief Pharmacy
  • Allergy Relief Pharmacy
  • Elanco Animal Health Manufacturer
  • Dog Pet Type

Is Atopica a Cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine is generic to Atopica and has been proven to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs. The medication is formulated to help reduce the constant scratching, rubbing, and licking by your dog. However, the medicine requires a prescription from an experienced veterinarian. The medication is effective for both cats and dogs 6 months or older, weighing 4 lbs and more. The drug is effective in reducing itching and skin lesions.

Is Atopica Better Than Apoquel?

Yes, Atopica is better than Apoquel in its application. Atopica is designed to treat the immune system because of the itch. This makes it more effective when preventing infections like skin and ear and the resulting itch. On the other hand, Apoquel suppresses the itch and doesn't treat the underlying issue, which makes it a temporary relief system rather than a treatment. Atopica is considered an immunomodulatory drug by specialists. Apoquel, on the other hand, is simply a medication inhibiting the nerve response of itch to the immune stimulation.

How Quickly Does Atopica Work?

Atopica is a medication designated to treat various allergies and other dermatitis conditions in dogs and cats. The medicine needs at least two weeks to start working. After that, it may take as long as four to six weeks to show visible signs of improvement in the skin condition. After four to six weeks, the dosage should be gradually decreased to every alternate day. Atopica is an oral medication formulated as gelatin capsules filled with liquid or simply as an oral liquid. The recommended dosage is one or two times a day, an hour or two after a meal. While it's not suggested to give the medication with a meal, you can give a small amount of food or treat with it for positive reinforcement as the medicine itself is quite bitter, and your dog won't like the taste of it.

Is Atopica Safe?

Atopica, when taken in moderation, is safe for most dogs. However, FDA has listed several side effects of the oral use of this particular medication. Some of these include headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, swollen and bleeding gums, kidney failure, cancer, hypertension, immune suppression, and in some extreme cases, death. Considering the severeness of some of these side effects, it's best to treat your dog with Atopica only after consulting an experienced veterinarian.

Can You Stop Atopica?

The recommended dose of Atopica is 5mg per kg of body weight every day. The medication is administered as a single daily dose for four to six months. Once the initial treatment days are over and your dog shows improvement, the dosing must be gradually weaned by decreasing the frequency to every alternate day or twice a week. Don't stop the medication unless your vet instructs you to do so, as it may cause severe health issues.

Does Atopica Expire?

It's recommended to store Atopica in the original container at room temperature between 59-degree and 77-degree F. Once you have opened the container of the medication, you must use the contents within 60 days for the 5ml packaging and within 11 weeks for the 17ml container. To ensure the optimal shelf life of the medicine, make sure that you close the bottle with the child-proof screw cap after every use.

Why Do You Have to Wear Gloves With Atopica?

Atopica is an immunosuppressant and increases the risk of infection for animals and humans alike when contacted. When on this medication, pets are more exposed to infection and are required to avoid other animals or people with contagious diseases or disorders. This is the main reason behind cancer being one of the side effects of this medication. This is why pet parents are advised to wash their hands after applying Atopica to their pets. For more protection, it's recommended to wear latex gloves while administering this medication.

Is Atopica Prescription Only?

Atopica is a prescription medication used to control skin conditions in dogs. The medicine targets the immune system response that causes itching and inflammation. Since it's an immunosuppressant and has severe side effects, pet parents can purchase it only through a vet's prescription. Moreover, a vet would guide you through the doses and type of the medication to keep your pet safe when its immunity is suppressed.

Should You Freeze Atopica?

Atopica is available in two formulations, namely capsules and oral liquid. The former can be stored at room temperature in a cold and dry place. Pet parents can also freeze the pills to reduce the nausea side effects of the medicine. Frozen capsules will last up to 28 days after they have been frozen. The oral liquid, on the other hand, should not be refrigerated or frozen at all. The liquid will be safe for consumption for up to 60 days from opening the bottle.


As with all drugs, side effects may occur. In a field study, the most common side effects were gastrointestinal signs. Gingival hyperplasia and papillomas may also occur during the initial dosing phase. Atopica is a systemic immunosuppressant that may increase the susceptibility to infection. Atopica is not for use in reproducing dogs or dogs with a history of neoplasia.

There are many possible drug interactions. Notify your veterinarian of additional medications, supplements, and vitamins, your pet is using.

There are many possible drug interactions. Notify your veterinarian of additional medications, supplements, and vitamins, your pet is using.

Ask your veterinarian or consult with one of our pet care specialists at 1-800-844-1427.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website. Our medications are FDA approved and/or EPA regulated when and as required by law.

Atopica is for use on dogs of 4 lbs. and above. It is given in one daily oral dose for a month, and can be adjusted depending on the dogโ€™s response until it often reaches a schedule of no more than every other day. The initial dose is based on the dogโ€™s weight, according to the recommendation of a veterinarian.

Store in a cool, dry place.

Atopica (Cyclosporine) is manufactured by Elanco Animal Health
Option UPC/SKU
4-9 lbs., 10mg - 15 capsules 716688435118
9.1-16 lbs., 25mg - 15 capsules 716688435217
16.1-33 lbs., 50mg - 15 capsules 716688435316
33.1-64 lbs, 100mg - 15 capsules 716688435415

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