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General Drug Information and IndicationsHow to Give this MedicationSide EffectsPrecautionsDrug InteractionsOverdoseStorageSearch for Available Dosage Forms
Tacrolimus is one of a group of relatively new drugs used to treat dry eye in dogs and cats. The veterinary term for dry eye is keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS. It is seen more commonly in dogs than in cats. Cyclosporine and tacrolimus are the two drugs most commonly used to stimulate tear production. Cyclosporine has been the standard drug for years, although topical ophthalmic tacrolimus may be more effective and, as a result, may be appropriate in animals that do not respond to cyclosporine. Animals with dry eye will need to be on treatment for the rest of their lives.
Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of tacrolimus, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.
Administering eye medications to animals can be a struggle and may require patience and practice. Try not to touch the tube or container tip to your dog’s eye or eyelid. It is also important to not contaminate the medication by touching the tip with your fingers or hand. Your veterinarian can help you develop a technique that will be effective and minimally stressful to both you and your dog.
If you are giving your dog more than one eye medication (such as artificial tears and tacrolimus), try to allow at least 5 minutes between medications.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.
Tacrolimus is very well tolerated for treatment of dry eye.
Side effects are unlikely with tacrolimus ophthalmic.
Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Tacrolimus is a prescription drug and should be used according to your veterinarian’s directions. It should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.
If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
Different strengths or dosage forms of tacrolimus may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.