Is it safe for a dog to take an over the counter antihistamine with Apoquel? Sep 14, 2018

Is it safe for a dog to take an over the counter antihistamine with Apoquel?

Original Question: My dog is now taking Apoquel 16mg once a day. Can he also take Desloratadine 5mg? He was taking Reactine but I bought this by mistake. Is it okay to switch? - David

Hi David,

Thanks for your question.

Apoquel is a medication that works at the skin level to reduce the mechanism that causes itch. It is not a steroid or antihistamine so it is safe to administer in conjunction with an antihistamine that is used appropriately. Antihistamines are over-the-counter so they have a reasonable safety margin for use. I have seen many owners administer different antihistamines as a trial to see if it has a beneficial impact on their pet’s allergic response. I would want you to review this with your veterinarian but is it accepted as safe to use both of these medications in combination. I refrain from giving out dosage recommendations as my license prohibits that and simply put, it would be dangerous since I am not the veterinarian managing your pet’s case. So I want you to review this with your primary veterinarian.

In the meantime, I can share some general thoughts about antihistamine use in allergic patients. You can certainly consider a trial on antihistamines. They are easily obtained and quite safe so you can try them on your own. I always recommend that you choose an antihistamine and use it consistently for 2 weeks to determine whether it works or not before discontinuing it. If the symptoms do not improve, then you can move onto another one. This is important because we often see that a patient will respond incredibly well to one kind of antihistamine, but then have little to no response to another one. The following resource outlines how to use antihistamines and a list of them and their dosage.

I’d like to mention that treating allergies can often be more successful if you use multiple treatments and not just one. Please take a look at this resource that reviews the treatments for allergies and how they can be done at the same time to improve the control of the condition.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Dr Clayton Greenway

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