February 23, 2009

Atopica use for Cats

Atopica is currently the only veterinary approved FDA cyclosporine and its use in cats is off label. Saying that, there is consensus among Veterinary Dermatologists that Atopica in cats is effective for multiple, steroid-responsive diseases and is "Beautifully Tolerated" in cats. Uses included; miliary dermatitis, eosonophilic granulomas, indolent ulcers, "Fat Chin" syndrome, Atopy, food allergy, insect hypersensitivity, chronic otitis, Lupus, Pemphigus, IBD, Stomatitis, chronic asthma, etc...

The dose ranges from 5-10mg/kg with higher doses being used to treat more serious disorders. Most cats need daily therapy for 30-60 days or until good control of the symptoms is reached, then the administration frequency can be reduced to every other day for 2 weeks and usually every 3rd day.

Cyclosporine is very well tolerated with cats demonstrating fewer adverse effects than dogs. Most cats do not vomit and thus do not need Reglan.

The most concerning issues are Toxo and FeLV, FIV.
Cats with FeLV and FIV should not be treated; however, cyclosporine is almost always safer than steroids.

The current consensus is that some cats are "Super" absorbers of cyclosporine which results in a greater immunosuppression. If the cat then encounters an infectious agent (Toxo) it is at a greater risk. Toxo negative cats that are "super" absorbers seem to be at greatest risk. The incidence of Toxo in treated cats is very low but several reports are in the literature.

To limit the Toxo risk, keep cats inside during daily cyclosporine therapy. Post administration peak blood levels may identify "super" absorbers.