Cyclosporine Use in Dermatology

Chapter 92


Cyclosporine Use in Dermatology



Cyclosporine has been approved in the United States for use in the control of atopic dermatitis in dogs as Atopica since 2003 and for the control of allergic dermatitis in cats as Atopica for Cats since 2011.


Cyclosporine is a potent immunomodulatory agent whose primary mechanism of action is inhibition of T-cell activation. Additional affects on the function of dendritic cells, Langerhans cells, B cells, mast cells, eosinophils, and keratinocytes contribute to the immunomodulatory and antiinflammatory actions of cyclosporine.


Because cyclosporine use in dogs was discussed extensively in Chapter 84 of the previous edition of Current Veterinary Therapy, this chapter focuses on new information relevant to the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis, the use of cyclosporine in cats, and additional extralabel uses for cyclosporine in small animals.



Updates on Cyclosporine for Canine Atopic Dermatitis




Dose Adjustments for Concurrent Administration with Ketoconazole


The effects of ketoconazole administered simultaneously with cyclosporine on skin and whole blood cyclosporine concentrations have been reported. In a study using normal adult laboratory dogs, it was determined that when dogs were administered 2.5 mg/kg q24h of ketoconazole and 2.5 mg/kg q24h of cyclosporine for 7 days, the adjusted mean whole blood and skin concentrations of cyclosporine were no different from the adjusted mean whole blood and skin concentrations achieved when cyclosporine was administered alone at the target dosage of 5 mg/kg q24h for 7 days (Gray et al, 2013). This suggests that administration of cyclosporine and ketoconazole concurrently at 2.5 mg/kg q24h each may be as effective as administration of cyclosporine alone at 5.0 mg/kg for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis. In practice the author usually administers cyclosporine at 5 mg/kg q24h without ketoconazole during the initial 30-day trial. If at any time the ongoing expense of cyclosporine becomes an issue for continued therapy, the cyclosporine dose is halved (to 2.5 mg/kg q24h) and ketoconazole is added at 2.5 mg/kg q24h. Typically, dogs that have responded favorably to the cyclosporine alone will continue to do well on the combination therapy, although some patients do experience some loss of efficacy, which usually is noticeable within a few days to a week.



Dose Adjustments for Concurrent Administration with Fluconazole


The effect of fluconazole on the cyclosporine dosage also has been investigated in dogs with renal transplants and normal dogs receiving cyclosporine-based immunosuppressive therapy. Concurrent administration of fluconazole (5 mg/kg q24h PO) significantly decreased the required cyclosporine dosage in both normal dogs and dogs with renal transplants, but a higher dosage of cyclosporine was needed in the transplanted dogs. In normal dogs, the cyclosporine requirements significantly decreased by 29% to 51% compared with initial cyclosporine dosages (Katayama et al, 2010). The effect of fluconazole on skin levels of cyclosporine was not reported, and thus the effects of fluconazole on cyclosporine’s efficacy in the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis are not known.



Urinary Tract Infections with Long-Term Cyclosporine Therapy


Another study assessed the frequency of urinary tract infections in dogs receiving cyclosporine with or without glucocorticoids (Peterson et al, 2012). The results suggest that routine urine culture and assessment of bacteriuria by cystocentesis should be part of the monitoring regimen for dogs receiving long-term cyclosporine therapy (>5 months) because 26 of 81 dogs (30%) had at least one positive urine culture result. However, 16 of the dogs also were being treated with glucocorticoids, and when the number of positive urine culture results in dogs receiving cyclosporine alone was compared with the number of positive urine culture results in a control group (dogs with inflammatory skin disease), no significant difference was seen. Further prospective studies are needed before one can make a firm recommendations regarding routine urine culture in dogs receiving long-term cyclosporine treatment. The author does not perform routine urine culture in dogs receiving long-term cyclosporine therapy unless they also are receiving long-term corticosteroid therapy or show clinical signs of cystitis.



Management of Gastrointestinal Adverse Effects


A variety of management strategies are available for dogs that develop gastrointestinal symptoms with cyclosporine administration, as occurs in approximately 30% of patients. In dogs with a history of gastrointestinal disease or upset, the author starts cyclosporine therapy at a lower dose (e.g., 2 to 3 mg/kg) and increases to the target dose over 7 to 10 days. Some dogs do better when administered frozen capsules or when given the cyclosporine with a small amount of food, which does not seem to diminish the clinical effect despite the slightly decreased gastrointestinal absorption. Metoclopramide (0.2 to 0.4 mg/kg q12h) or maropitant citrate (Cerenia; 2 mg/kg q24h PO for 5 days) also can be administered to help control vomiting. For soft stools, use of a high-fiber supplement (e.g., canned pumpkin) or high-fiber diets or probiotics may be helpful in dogs.

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Jul 18, 2016 | Posted by in PHARMACOLOGY, TOXICOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS | Comments Off on Cyclosporine Use in Dermatology
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