(cyclosporine oral solution, USP) modified, a treatment for chronic allergic dermatitis, has been approved by the FDA as the first OK'd for treating allergic dermatitis in cats.
Allergic dermatitis causes itching, chewing, licking, skin lesions and hair loss. The drug’s manufacturer, Novartis Animal Health US Inc., previously acquired approval for a similar product used to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs.
“Atopica for cats has the potential to change how our profession treats the itchy cat,” said Keith Hnilica, DVM, MS, MBA, Diplo. ACVD, who consults with Novartis and others on dermatological issues and authored Small Animal Dermatology: A Color Atlas and Therapeutic Guide 3rd edition. “For the first time, we have a safe, highly effective, approved treatment for cats with allergic dermatitis.”
The company says Atopica relieves itching and scratching, with improvement seen in the first four weeks. After six weeks of treatment, 78 percent of cats were considered comfortable with satisfactory levels of grooming. The product, which will be available in late 2011, is also proven to reduce skin lesions.
Novartis reports that approximately one-third of cats took the medicine in their food and two-thirds were dosed directly into the mouth in studies. The product targets immune cells such as the T-lymphocytes involved in the allergic reaction. Atopic for cats is an alternative to steroids.