Atopica Use in Cats

Atopica can aid in healing feline allergic dermatitis.
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If your cat constantly scratches, loses hair, has red scaly skin and generally looks like a mess, he could suffer from allergic dermatitis. Only a vet can make a diagnosis, but if allergic dermatitis is what ails him, Atopica can help. Available through veterinarians, Atopica frequently alleviates the condition.


Atopica is the brand name for cyclosporine oral solution. It's approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat allergic dermatitis. Before Atopica, cats with allergic dermatitis were often treated with steroids, which can cause serious health problems when administered long-term. Atopica doesn't contain steroids. Give it to your cat either mixed with food or syringe into his mouth.

How to Use

Your vet determines how much of the solution your cat receives. Atopica comes in a bottle along with a dip tube and a dosing syringe. After removing the cap from the bottle, put the dip tube into it, then put the dosing syringe into the dip tube and fill it to the amount that your vet told you. This is based on your cat's weight. Put the medication in the syringe either in your cat's mouth or in his food. Carefully wash the syringe and dip tube. Replace the screw cap on the bottle. Give the medication daily for as long as your vet prescribes, generally for six to eight weeks. Your vet will examine your cat and, if there's improvement, instruct you to dose less frequently. Always wash your hands after handling Atopica.


According to the manufacturer, Novartis Animal Health U.S., cats should show improvement within one month of receiving Atopica. However, Atopica is a treatment, not a cure, and your cat must continue on the drug with veterinary monitoring. Novartis reports that over three-quarters of cats receiving Atopica obtained some kind of relief from itching and skin lesions. Isn't giving Kitty relief from his misery worth the minor trouble of giving it to him? You'll also be rewarded by how much better he looks.


Don't use Atopica if your cat has ever been diagnosed with cancer or feline immunodeficiency virus, known as FIV. Cats with feline leukemia or cats that test feline leukemia positive should not receive Atopica. While side effects of Atopica are generally mild, some cats react badly. The major issue in clinical trials was vomiting, which generally resolved itself while the cat stayed on the drug. Some cats experience significant weight loss while on the drug, which may be a sign of a more serious condition. Report any changes in your cat's health or behavior to your vet. Your cat must be at least 6 months old and weigh at least 3 pounds to receive Atopica.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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