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Vet Dermatol. 2004 Apr;15(2):61-74.

Cyclosporin A: a new drug in the field of canine dermatology.

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Clinique Veterinaire Saint Bernard, 598 Avenue de Dunkerque, 59160 Lomme, France.


In the last few years, there has been growing interest in the use of cyclosporin to treat canine skin diseases. Cyclosporin exhibits potent immunomodulating properties that reflect its ability to block the transcription of cytokines genes in activated T lymphocytes. Cyclosporin also inhibits a number of immune allergic reactions that occur after activation of mast cells, Langerhans cells, eosinophils and keratinocytes. In randomized controlled trials, cyclosporin has proven to be as effective as glucocorticoids for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis at the inducing dosage of 5 mg kg(-1). The drug has also proven beneficial for the treatment of perianal fistulas in dogs. Other potential applications are suggested from small pilot open trials using dogs affected with various immune-mediated dermatological diseases. The pharmacokinetic properties of cyclosporin are very similar in dogs and man, but its safety margin is much wider in dogs. Therefore, routine cyclosporin blood level monitoring does not appear necessary. Although in man renal impairment and hypertension are often seen, even at low doses, these effects are not observed in dogs. Adverse reactions consist mainly of transient emesis and diarrhoea occurring during the first days of treatment. Other adverse reactions, such as gingival hyperplasia, verruciform lesions and hypertrichosis, appear to be dose-dependent, and occur rarely at therapeutic doses. An increased susceptibility to infections has not been reported in dogs receiving this drug.

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