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Apoquel (Oclacitinib)

Prescription medicineOnly Available By Prescription

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A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

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Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate) is used by or on the prescription order of a licensed veterinarian for the treatment of itching in dogs due to allergic dermatitis and to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs that are 1 years old or older.

Fact Table







Legal status


Chemical Name


Elimination half-life

3.1–5.2 hours

Dosage (Strength)

3.6mg, 5.4mg, 16mg


Do not use



Protein binding


PubChem CID






ATC code






Routes of administration

By mouth


Your veterinarian's instructions for administering Apoquel to your dog should be followed. Weight determines the dosage of Apoquel, so be sure to discuss with your veterinarian the appropriate dose for your dog. Any questions or concerns should be addressed by your veterinarian or pharmacist.

Apoquel is available in tablets; the dosing is between 0.18 mg and 0.27 mg per pound of your dog's body weight. It should be given by mouth twice daily with or without food for up to 2 weeks, then given one time a day for maintenance.


The active ingredient contained in Apoquel is olacitinib.


  • Before administering treatment to your dog with Apoquel, tell your veterinarian:
    • About your dog's medications
    • If your dog has any allergies
    • About any health conditions your dog may have
    • If your dog is pregnant or nursing
  • Apoquel is only to be used in dogs. Humans should not take Apoquel. Keep the medication out of reach from children and other animals.
  • Do not give Apoquel to dogs younger than 1 years old.
  • Dogs with severe infections should not take Apoquel.
  • Your dog's risk for infection or for new neoplastic conditions can be increased by Apoquel. Existing neoplastic conditions may be worsened by use of Apoquel.
  • Dogs that are breeding, pregnant, or nursing should not be given Apoquel.

Side Effects

Diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, new cutaneous or subcutaneous lump, weakness, and excessive thirst may be induced by the use of Apoquel. Monitor your dog for worrisome or persistent side effects and immediately call your veterinarian if you become concerned.


Apoquel (oclacitinib tablet). Kalamazoo, MI: Zoetis Inc.; 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions about Apoquel

What is Apoquel?

Apoquel is an allergy medication for dogs that treats itching and inflammation by targeting an important itch signal in a dog's body. It works within 4 hours and is prescribed either short-term for allergic flare-ups or long-term for managing skin allergies.

How does Apoquel work?

It inhibits Janus kinase, a signal that triggers itching and inflammation in allergic dogs, reducing itching at a cellular level and decreasing skin inflammation.

What are the dosing instructions for Apoquel?

Apoquel tablets are administered orally, with or without food. The typical dosage is 0.18 to 0.27 mg per pound of body weight, administered twice daily for up to 14 days, then once daily for maintenance. It's for dogs 12 months and older and should not be used in breeding, pregnant, or nursing dogs.

What are common side effects of Apoquel?

Common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy, and increased thirst. These are usually temporary. Serious side effects can include infections, skin diseases, skin masses, cancer, and aggression.

Are there human side effects to be aware of?

Apoquel is not intended for human use. Prolonged contact should be avoided, and hand washing is recommended after handling. Ingestion or skin irritation should be addressed by contacting a physician or poison control center.

What monitoring is required while a dog is on Apoquel?

No specific monitoring is required, but routine testing may be recommended by a veterinarian based on the dog's individual needs and other medications.

What should be done in case of an Apoquel overdose?

Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, skin inflammation, and other serious effects. Contact a veterinarian or an animal poison control center immediately if an overdose is suspected.

How should Apoquel be stored?

Store at controlled temperatures between 36-77°F, with brief exposure to 59°-86°F acceptable. Keep the container tightly closed to protect from moisture and light and out of reach of children and pets.

How long can a dog take Apoquel?

Apoquel can be administered both short-term and long-term, as recommended by a veterinarian.

Is there a generic version of Apoquel available?

Currently, there is no generic version of Apoquel available. However, other medications and treatments exist for managing allergic dermatitis in dogs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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