What is a Generic Drug?

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.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Apoquel (Oclacitinib)


Apoquel (Oclacitinib)

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  • Product Details


    Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate) is used by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian to treat itchiness due to allergic dermatitis and to manage atopic dermatitis in dogs that are 12 months old or older.

    Fact Table




    US FDA



    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


    Follow your veterinarian's instructions for administering Apoquel to your dog. Apoquel is dosed based on weight, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate dose for your dog. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your veterinarian or pharmacist.

    Apoquel comes in tablets and the dosing is between 0.18 mg and 0.27 mg per pound of your dog's body weight. Give by mouth two times a day with or without food for up to 2 weeks, then give by mouth once daily for maintenance.


    Olacitinib is the active ingredient contained in Apoquel.


    • Before you give Apoquel to your dog, be sure to discuss the following with your veterinarian:
      • Your dog's medications
      • Your dog's allergies
      • Your dog's medical history and health conditions
      • Your dog's pregnancy or nursing status
    • Apoquel is for use in dogs only. Do not give Apoquel to humans. Keep the medication away from children and other animals.
    • Apoquel should not be given to dogs younger than 12 months old.
    • Apoquel should not be given to dogs with severe infections.
    • Apoquel can increase your dog's risk for infection or for new neoplastic conditions. Apoquel may worsen existing neoplastic conditions. 
    • Apoquel should not be used in dogs that are breeding, pregnant, or nursing.

    Side Effects

    Apoquel side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, new cutaneous or subcutaneous lump, weakness, and excessive thirst. If you notice side effects in your dog that concern you or won't go away, call your veterinarian right away.


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

    Frequently Asked Questions about Apoquel (Oclacitinib)

    What is Apoquel (Oclacitinib)?

    Apoquel is a medication used primarily in veterinary medicine for the treatment of allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis in dogs. It acts as a selective Janus kinase inhibitor, reducing inflammation and pruritus (itching).

    How does Apoquel work?

    Apoquel works by selectively inhibiting Janus kinase enzymes, which are involved in the itch and inflammation pathways in dogs. This action reduces the symptoms of allergic skin conditions.

    What are the common side effects of Apoquel?

    Common side effects in dogs may include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and lethargy. However, not all dogs will experience these side effects.

    Can Apoquel be used in all dogs?

    Apoquel is typically safe for use in dogs over 12 months of age and weighing more than 6.6 pounds. It should not be used in dogs with severe infections or those that are breeding, pregnant, or lactating.

    How quickly does Apoquel take effect?

    Apoquel starts to relieve itch within 4 hours of administration, with effectiveness for itch relief usually within 24 hours.

    Is long-term use of Apoquel safe?

    Long-term use of Apoquel can be safe under veterinary supervision, but regular monitoring for side effects and potential immune system impacts is advised.

    Can Apoquel be used with other medications?

    Apoquel can be used with many other medications, including vaccines, antibiotics, and parasiticides. However, always consult a veterinarian before combining it with other treatments.

    How should Apoquel be administered?

    Apoquel is administered orally and can be given with or without food. The dosage and duration should be as directed by a veterinarian.

    Are there any dogs that should not take Apoquel?

    Dogs with a history of immune system disorders, severe infections, or certain cancers should not take Apoquel. Additionally, it's not recommended for dogs younger than 12 months or under 6.6 pounds.

    Can Apoquel cure allergies in dogs?

    Apoquel does not cure allergies but helps manage the symptoms of allergic skin conditions. Continuous or periodic use may be necessary as directed by a veterinarian.

    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.

    Product Code : 13504

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