We came across a question asking about Apoquel side effects. Our fellow dog-lover asked: “Has anyone’s dog had GI upset from Apoquel before? If yes, did it eventually go away and how long did that take?” Like any drug, Apoquel side effects range from common to rare. It’s an excellent drug to combat itchy skin in dogs, but you should know Apoquel side effects before giving it to your pet. This will let you recognize the signs of an adverse reaction and discontinue use accordingly.
Related: Reasons to Buy Sensitive Skin Dog Food
What is Apoquel? What are Apoquel Side Effects?
Apoquel is a drug designed to relieve itchy skin in dogs. It has gained in popularity over the last few years because it has less systemic side effects than corticosteroids – namely weight gain, polyurea (increased urination), and organ damage. Although it’s an excellent drug for this purpose, Apoquel side effects do need to be addressed.
What is Apoquel
Apoquel is an alternative to corticosteroids. Unlike corticosteroids, which are system-wide anti-inflammatory drugs, Apoquel is a synthetic Janus Kinase inhibitor. I could write an entire article about the process of inhibiting Janus Kinase, but in the simplest terms, it blocks itchiness.
Why is Apoquel Better than Corticosteroids
Apoquel is many times preferred to corticosteroids, because, while they both have side effects, Apoquel has less systemic side effects than corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can cause polydipsia (increased thirst), polyurea (increased urination), polyphagia (increased hunger), and organ damage when used long term or at high doses.
While there are Apoquel side effects, they do not include potential organ damage. For that reason, Apoquel is commonly prescribed to animals who need long-term management of itchy skin.
Apoquel Side Effects
The most common Apoquel side effects are vomiting and diarrhea. Other less common Apoquel side effects include lethargy, a decrease in appetite or lack of appetite, skin irritation or infection, and ear irritation or infection.
So there are Apoquel side effects. No drug is side effect free. However, the side effects of Apoquel sometimes decrease or go away with time or with a decreased dose, and those side effects do not include the organs.
Apoquel Side Effects – Is the Drug an Option for Your Dog
To determine if Apoquel side effects are worth risking for your dog’s comfort, you’ll need to speak with your vet. Only a vet can guide you on the best course of action for your pet. While both corticosteroid side effects and Apoquel side effects can range from mild to severe, the lack of organ involvement with Apoquel often makes it a better choice for long-term symptom management.
If your dog suffers from long-term itchiness, it may be worth speaking with your vet about Apoquel. Although Apoquel side effects can be an issue for some dogs, it’s like any other drug. You have to weigh the side effects against the potential benefits.