Does Apoquel Cause Cancer?


Apoquel (generic name: oclacitinib) is a medication commonly prescribed to dogs for the treatment of allergic skin conditions, particularly itching and inflammation associated with allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.

There have been concerns and discussions about the potential risk of cancer associated with the use of Apoquel. While the drug has undergone extensive testing and is generally considered safe for most dogs when used as prescribed, there have been reports of tumors and cancer in some dogs treated with Apoquel.

The prescribing information for Apoquel does mention a cautionary note about the development of malignant tumors in a small percentage of dogs during clinical trials. However, it’s important to note that causality is challenging to establish in such cases, as other factors may contribute to the development of tumors, and more research is needed to determine any direct link between Apoquel and cancer.

If your dog is being treated with Apoquel, it’s crucial to follow your veterinarian’s guidance, monitor your pet for any potential side effects, and promptly report any unusual symptoms or changes in health. Regular check-ups and discussions with your veterinarian can help assess your dog’s response to the medication and evaluate any potential risks or concerns.

As with any medication, the decision to use Apoquel should involve a careful consideration of the benefits versus potential risks, and it’s important to weigh these factors in consultation with a qualified veterinarian.