Information About Cyclosporine Therapy

About  Cyclosporine Therapy

Although most dog owners know about the use of Cyclosporine therapy in dogs suffering from dry eyes, there are more uses for this medication in canines. Canine atopic dermatitis is one of the conditions that responds well with  therapy. This condition gets worse as the dog gets older so early detection and treatment is very important.

Also, Cyclosporine has been used successfully in treating a number of canine recalcitrant skin diseases. It is also very effective in treating dogs with allergic and immune-mediated skin diseases and controls the inflammation that accompanies these skin conditions.

When used as a treatment for canine atopic dermatitis, the therapy is available in 10mg, 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg capsules which is given orally. This version of Cyclosporine, which is micro-emulsified, increases the oral bioavailability and consistency of absorption in dogs.

However, food in the gastrointestinal tract reduces the efficacy of the drug by about 20% so it is better that the medication be given to the dog on an empty stomach. The most classic symptom of canine atopic dermatitis is open, weeping sores. This will vary in severity with weather changes. This results in constant itching and scratching which makes the dog and it’s owner quite miserable.

The more traditional treatments for this disease include antihistamines, glucocorticords, as well as allergen-specific immunotherapy. Each of these treatments has limitations. Cyclosporine therapy is an option that avoids these pitfalls. It is much more effective than antihisamines, causes much less side effects than any long term glucorticord treatment and works much quicker than allergen-specific immunotherapy.

By getting an early diagnoses and starting treatment early enough, progression of the disease can be inhibited and kept from progressing to a more severe form of the condition. The beginning dosage is 5mg every 24 hours on an empty stomach. After the first month of Cyclosporine therapy, the dosage is lowered to 5mg ever 48 hours on an empty stomach.

Side effects of Cyclosporine therapy include vomiting, diarrhea, gingival hyperplasia and cutaneous papillomatosis. A reduction in the dosage usually puts a stop to these side effects. Cyclosporine therapy has also become increasingly popular in the treatment of perianal fistula in German Shepherds. These were once only treated successfully with surgery. A dose of 5mg daily was found to be much more effective than 2mg daily. Some vets have reported success with even lower doses of Cyclosporine.

Autoimmune skin diseases are very variably responsive to Cyclosporine therapy. However, there have only been one or two cases of this reported. There are still more clinical trials to be done but the research does continue.

The most success has been seen when Cyclosporine therapy is applied to dry eye condition. When 2% of Cyclosporine is mixed with corn oil or castor oil, 80% of the pets were greatly improved from the symptoms of this condition. However cyclosporine has to be administered for the rest of the dog’s life.

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