Apoquel for Pets – Prescription by Vets


What is Apoquel?

Apoquel is a fast-acting medicine used to effectively control and treat itching resulting from various causes such as food allergy, flea allergy, environmental allergy (from molds, pollens, and in-house dust mites), atopic dermatitis, and contact allergy in dogs. 

Apoquel-for-dogs Apoquel dosing chart

After taking the medicine, relief starts within 4 hours, and the allergic itch is controlled for 24 hours. You can buy it from any pet pharmacy with a prescription and this drug should only be given to dogs over 12 months of age and weighing at least 6.6 pounds. 



Apoquel reduces the itch and skin inflammation, while you can conduct diagnostic trials to identify the reason for the onset of itching. 


Apoquel is an oral drug administered for dogs suffering from constant allergic itch. Made by Zoetis, Apoquel for pets is an FDA-approved synthetic Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor. 

Oclacitinib, developed under the brand name Apoquel, is an immunosuppressant drug falling under the JAK inhibitor category. This drug works primarily on JAK-1 and -3 by inhibiting signaling. The signaling typically occurs every time a cytokine binds to the receptors found on the cell’s surface. By inhibiting signaling, this drug can block inflammatory cytokines discharged from activated lymphocytes. In addition to working on IL-2, -4, -6, -13, and IL-31, it also blocks the effects of cytokine involved in the causation of itch. 

Besides, JAK signaling is a crucial aspect of bone marrow health and function as well.

Apoquel is entirely different from steroids, cyclosporine, or antihistamines. Apoquel provides relief from itching and inflammation without affecting the health of the immune system. 

Unlike other treatments based on steroids, Apoquel targets a specific itch signal in the central nervous system with minimal effect on the immune system. You can look for causes of the itch or inflammation, while Apoquel can be given to dogs to provide temporary itch relief.

Is Apoquel A Miracle Drug?

Of course not – no drug is. Although Apoquel has had early success and was recommended by every pet chemist, it is not without its fair share of negatives. Let’s look at some of them here:

  • It comes with a long list of side effects:

Similar to any other drug, even Apoquel usage can cause a few common and adverse side effects. These side effects include vomiting, reduced food intake or excessive intake, excessive thirst, diarrhea, or lethargy. 

In some cases, Apoquel dosage developed adverse skin conditions in some dogs. The requirements include itching, warts, and ear infections. However, there is no evidence or clinical reports, some suspect Apoquel usage to increase cancer in dogs. Moreover, since Apoquel for cats is essentially an immune-suppressant drug, it is essential to be mindful that the drug consumption doesn’t make other infections worse. 

  • It is in use only from early 2014

It is a relatively new drug to enter the market. It has been touted as the go-to miracle drug for all dogs. However, Apoquel is undoubtedly not for all dogs or all skin conditions. 

  • It is not THE ONLY treatment for allergies available

Many alternative medicines are available for allergies, such as natural herbs, baking soda, and other medications. It is essential to educate yourself on these alternatives and discuss them with your vet before choosing one treatment over the other. 

  • It is not cheap

Apoquel is undoubtedly not the cheapest medication available in the market. 

Is Apoquel – the Anti-itch Drug in Short Supply

Apoquel remains in short supply as its drugmaker Zeotis is plagued by manufacturing issues. After pledging to increase production, Zeotis has reinstated a ban on new orders. Since there is a shortage of vet supplies, not all dogs on Apoquel can ensure its continued supply.


Benefits of Apoquel:                                                                                               

The benefits of Apoquel include:

  • Instant relief from terrible itching within 4 hours
  • Controls itch for 24 hours
  • It is safe to be used alongside other medications such as vaccines, parasiticides, and antibiotics.
  • It is safe for both long term and short term use
  • It effectively stops the itch with a minimal adverse effect on the immune system.
  • It is sold per tablet.
  • Effectively controls atopic dermatitis and pruritus.

How does Apoquel work?

Apoquel for pets is a JAK inhibitor that blocks the body’s kinases. Kinases are the body’s signaling compounds that cells use to communicate with other cells. The selective JAK inhibitor targets pruritogenic cytokines. Apoquel controls the pruritus, thereby providing fast itch relief, reducing inflammation, and providing long-term and short-term relief from itching. This drug is effective against food allergies, contact dermatitis, flea allergies, and atopic dermatitis.  

How should Apoquel be given?

Apoquel dose is 0.8 to 0.27 mg/lb of the animal’s body weight. 

  • The initial dosage of Apoquel for dogs weighing 6.6 to 9.9 lbs is half of a single 3.6mg weight twice every day. 
  • The dosage of Apoquel for dogs weighing 10 to 14.9 lbs is half of a single 5.4 mg tablet twice daily. 
  • The dosage for dogs weighing between 15 and 19.9 lbs is a single 3.6 mg tablet twice daily. 
  • The dosage for dogs weighing between 20 and 29.9 lbs is a single 5.4 mg tablet twice daily.
  • The dosage for dogs weighing between 30 and 44.9 lbs is half of a single 16 mg tablet twice daily.
  • The dosage for dogs weighing 45 and 59.9 lbs is two 5.4 mg tablets twice every day.
  • The dosage for dogs weighing 60 and 89.9 lbs is a single 16 mg tablet twice every day.
  • The dosage for dogs weighing between 90 and 129.9 lbs is 1 and half 16 mg tablet twice every day.
  • The dosage for dogs weighing between 130 and 175.9 lbs is two 16 mg tablets daily. 

What are the potential side effects of Apoquel?

Apoquel for cats and dogs comes with a few mild and adverse side effects. Some negative side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, new skin lumps, and acute lethargy.

This drug may also increase the propensity to infection and improve neoplastic conditions.

In a few cases, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting resolved when used regularly.

What happens if I miss giving a dose of Apoquel?

If you miss a dose of Apoquel, don’t worry. Give the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Once the dose is consumed with food, proceed with the regular medication schedule. 

What should I avoid while giving Apoquel to my pet?

Apoquel drugs should not be given to dogs below 12 months or those with severe infections. It should not be given to pregnant or lactating dogs and breeding dogs. Further, dogs on Apoquel medication should always be strictly monitored for the onset of infections, such as neoplasia and demodicosis. Apoquel has not been thoroughly studied to identify its reaction when consumed in combination with cyclosporine, glucocorticoids, and other immune-suppressant drugs.

Monitoring, dosage, and Administration:

Monitoring dogs on a daily Apoquel drug administration is essential. Before buying the drug from a pet chemist online, it is crucial to check the dog’s CBC/Chem 6. A CBC test is administered to ensure the dog doesn’t have any liver condition before administering the drug. Then, undertake the same test for three months and then once every year.


Apoquel should be given only once every 12 hours for 14 days. You should not give this drug twice for more than 14 days as the FDA does not recommend it. It is not recommended to administer more or less than the pet prescription dosage.

Apoquel works quite quickly – usually providing complete relief within 2 -3 days. If the dog is itching severely or is uncomfortable, administer it twice daily for one week before giving one dose per day. However, if the dog is not showing any improvements even after two weeks, it is highly unlikely to get better. 

Moderate to severe atopic dermatitis requires a twice-daily dosage for the dog to feel better. If the dog is suffering from severe allergies, a single dose every day is not likely to improve its condition.

Long term impact of Apoquel given in combination with other immune-suppressant drugs or steroids has not been studied thoroughly yet.

Recommended Products:

You can now buy Apoquel from Pet Guardian – all you have to do is upload the original prescription as a pdf, jpeg, jpg, or png file. All the medicines purchased by Pet Guardian are made through Veterinary Wholesalers – similar to how your vet will purchase medications for you. All medicines are APVMA approved – identical to the drugs used by your veterinary surgeon.

Apoquel 16 mg:


We have stock of Apoquel, a prescription medication used to treat pruritus caused by allergies. The drug name is Oclacitinib maleate 16mg, and Zoetis manufacture it. Half a 16mg tablet twice daily is usually recommended for dogs weighing between 30 and 44.9 lbs.

Apoquel 3.6 mg:


We have stock of Apoquel, a prescription medication given to dogs suffering from allergic dermatitis. This drug contains oclacitinib maleate 3.6 mg as an ingredient and Zoetis manufactures it. To purchase this medicine, you need to provide a valid prescription from a registered veterinarian. When you buy two packs of 100 tablets each from the petguardian.com site, you save 2%, and when you buy four packs of 100 tablets each, you save 3%.

Apoquel 5.4mg:


With oclacitinib maleate 5.4mg as the primary ingredient, Apoquel is a pet prescription used to treat atopic dermatitis and itching in dogs. Since this is a prescription medication, you must produce a valid prescription from a registered veterinarian to purchase it from the Pet Guardian store. Moreover, you can also avail free shipping on your purchase if the total is more than $150.  


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