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Atopica is normally used for managing atopic dermatitis in dogs, which is an allergic skin condition caused by an array of allergens including pollens, molds and dust mites. In addition, Atopica is found to be effective in the treatment of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (“dry eye”) in dogs, perineal fistulas, Immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia, Discoid lupus erythemathosus. Feline Asthma can also be treated using Atopica. Atopica acts by targeting specific immune cells, which are responsible for the allergies thereby restraining these responses.
Atopica should only be used in dogs that weigh at least 4 lbs. This medication is not recommended in pregnant or lactating dogs or those suffering from malignant neoplasia. While on Atopica treatment, dogs should not be vaccinated as there is a risk that an active infection of the disease vaccinated could be induced. Do not use Atopica in young dogs of less than 6 months of age or in small dogs or cats.
Atopica is available in soft gelatin capsules that are orally administered as a daily dose. Atopica is best given on an empty stomach – either 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. If a dose is missed, do not give Atopica more than once in a day. If the dog responds positively to the treatment, the vet would reduce the dosage. Tablets are available in various strengths of 10 mg, 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. The normal dosage for dogs is 5mg/kg/day as a single daily dose for one month.
The common side effects of Atopica are gastrointestinal irritations along with gingival hyperplasia and papillomas. Other side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, otitis externa, urinary tract infections or anorexia. As Atopica inhibits T-lymphocytes, it might lead to increased incidences of clinically apparent malignancy, which calls for regular monitoring.
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