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Treating canine and feline dermatoses with cyclosporine has been the subject of great interest in recent years.1 Many studies have focused on canine atopic dermatitis, and now there is substantial evidence that cyclosporine is efficacious in treating this common condition.2 In addition, cyclosporine has been used to treat a number of recalcitrant skin diseases, ranging from canine perianal fistulas to feline eosinophilic granuloma complex.Cyclosporine is a potent immunomodulating polypeptide originally isolated from the soil fungus Tolypocladium inflatum. By inhibiting the production of IL-2, IL-4 and other cytokines, cyclosporine is effective in controlling the inflammation associated with many allergic and immune-mediated skin diseases. Atopica (cyclosporine, modified; Novartis Animal Health, Inc.) was approved for the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis in 2003. It is available in 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg capsules. Compared to the original form, this micro-emulsified version of cyclosporine increases the oral bioavailability and consistency of absorption in dogs.3 Food in the gastrointestinal tract decreases absorption by about 20 percent. The drug is metabolized primarily in the liver by the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP3A4. Drugs metabolized by the same system have the potential to increase or decrease serum cyclosporin levels.
Compared to the original form, this micro-emulsified version of cyclosporine increases the oral bioavailability and consistency of absorption in dogs.
Dr. Plant, Dipl. ACVD, is a dermatology specialist at Banfield, The Pet Hospital, in Portland, Ore.
1. Robson DC, Burton GG. Cyclosporin: applications in small animal dermatology. Vet Dermatol 2003 (14)1: 1-9.2. Steffan J, Favrot C, Mueller R. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of cyclosporin for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs. Vet Dermatol 2006 (17)1: 3-16.3. Gaugere E, Steffan J, Olivry T. Cyclosporin A: a new drug in the field of canine dermatology. Vet Dermatol 2004 (15)2: 61-74.4. Thelen A, Mueller RS, Linek M, Peters S, Stechmann K, Steffan J. Influence of food intake on the clinical response to cyclosporin A in canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Record 2006 (159)25:854-6.5. Noli C, Scarampella F. Prospective open pilot study on the use of ciclosporin for feline allergic skin disease. J Small Anim Pract 2006 (47)8:434-8.6. Vercelli A, Raviri B, Cornegliani L. The use of oral cyclosporin to treat feline dermatoses: a retrospective analysis of 23 cases. Vet Dermatol 2006 (17)3: 201-6.7. House AK, Guitian J, Gregory SP, Hardie RJ. Evaluation of the effect of two dose rates of cyclosporine on the severity of perianal fistulae lesions and associated clinical signs in dogs. Vet Surg 2006 (35)6:543-98. Olivry T, Rivierre C, Murphy KM. Efficacy of cyclosporine for treatment induction of canine pemphigus foliaceus. Vet Record 2003 (152)2: 53-4.
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