Apoquel vs Cytopoint: Unveiling Effective Solutions for Pets

Dr. Isabella Martinez
11 Min Read

As a pet owner, you’ve likely had to deal with those unpleasant allergic conditions in your pet companions. Well, you don’t have to fret anymore because two popular medications have emerged that can provide great help to you. These are Apoquel and Cytopoint. Understanding the difference between these two medications can help you decide which one is best for your pet.

Key Takeaways

  • Apoquel and Cytopoint are two common medications used to treat pet allergies.
  • It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to choose the best option for your pet’s unique needs.
  • Factors to consider when choosing between the two medications include their mechanisms of action, administration methods, and potential side effects.

Did you hear the news about Cytopoint being discontinued? If not follow this link for updated news.

Understanding Apoquel and Cytopoint

As a pet owner, you must be aware of possible solutions to your pet’s allergies. Apoquel and Cytopoint are two drugs that have emerged as effective dog allergy treatments. While both medications can be beneficial, understanding their differences is essential in making the right choice for your pet.

  • Apoquel is a pill that blocks specific proteins in your dog’s body responsible for causing itching and inflammation. It targets the root of the issue and provides relief within hours.
  • Cytopoint is an injection a veterinarian gives that addresses the same proteins that cause itching and inflammation. It works by binding to these proteins and removing them from the dog’s system, providing relief lasting up to eight weeks.

Both medications address the underlying cause of allergies and quickly relieve your pet. However, they differ in their administration, effectiveness, and duration of relief.

Understanding Apoquel and Cytopoint

ApoquelCytopointAdministration of
of Oral pill Injection
Effectiveness Immediate, but may require a few days of use to see full effect.  Relief typically lasts up to eight weeks. 
Side Effects Mild side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.  Commonly mild side effects could be vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. In rare cases, anaphylaxis may occur.

The treatment will be the most effective for your pet and will help you pre-consult about various issues like the advantages and disadvantages of the medicine and the perfect dosage, with your vet. Each pet is unique, and your vet can help you determine which option suits your pet’s specific needs.

Key Differences between Apoquel and Cytopoint

Apoquel and Cytopoint are both effective treatments for pet allergies, but they differ in their mechanisms of action, administration methods, and duration of effectiveness.

Mechanism of Action

  • Apoquel is an oral medication that contains oclacitinib, a synthetic Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor that blocks the signals that cause inflammation and itching. Cytopoint, on the other hand, is a subcutaneous injection that contains lokivetmab, a monoclonal antibody that targets and neutralizes the cytokine IL-31, a key player in the itch response.

Administration Method

  • Apoquel is given to the dogs orally with their meals once or twice daily. The severity of symptoms decides the frequency here. Cytopoint is administered as a subcutaneous injection, usually once every 4 to 8 weeks, as per the response of every individual pet.

Duration of Effectiveness

  • Apoquel provides rapid relief of itching and inflammation, usually within 4 hours of administration, but its effectiveness may diminish after a few weeks in some pets. Cytopoint, on the other hand, provides long-lasting relief for up to 4 to 8 weeks as it slowly releases the monoclonal antibody into the bloodstream.

Apoquel should not be used in dogs under 12 months of age or those with certain immune system disorders, as per the recommendation proven by vets. Additionally, both medications may cause side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, and infection. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the best treatment option for your pet.

Is Apoquel Better than Cytopoint?

  • When deciding between Apoquel and Cytopoint for treating pet allergies, it’s essential to consider each pet’s individual needs. Apoquel may be more effective in providing immediate relief initially, but its long-term use could invite more risks than benefits.
  • Cytopoint, on the other hand, is an innovative syringe-based medication that provides longer-lasting relief from allergic reactions in pets. It has also been reported to have fewer side effects, making it a preferred choice for some pet owners.
  • The choice between Apoquel and Cytopoint still depends on factors such as the severity of the pet’s allergy symptoms, their overall health status, and the advice of a veterinarian. It’s important to thoroughly discuss these options with a qualified professional to ensure the best treatment plan for your pet’s needs.

Effectiveness of Cytopoint for Allergies

Cytopoint is a relatively new medication that has gained popularity recently for its effectiveness in managing pet allergies. It targets a specific protein in a dog’s immune system responsible for triggering allergic reactions. By neutralizing this protein, Cytopoint can reduce itching and inflammation caused by allergies.

However, Cytopoint may not be suitable for all pets. It is only recommended for dogs with moderate to severe allergies and may not be that effective for mild allergic cases and could also invite more serious issues. Moreover, Apoquel might need a higher frequency of dosages than Cytopoint as Apoquel requires 1-2 tablets daily, whereas Cytopoint is given once in 4-8 weeks.

Comparing Side Effects of Apoquel and Cytopoint

None of the medicines are free of some potential side effects and so are Apoquel and Cytopoint. These medicines are generally considered safe but you have to be careful and watch out for potential future risks:

Side Effect Apoquel Cytopoint
Diarrhea Common Uncommon
Vomiting Common Uncommon
Loss of appetite Common Uncommon
Ear infections Uncommon Common
Infections Uncommon Common

Apoquel and Cytopoint are safe and effective options for managing pet allergies. In the process of analyzing the side effects, you should keep in mind that the effect of medication differs in every individual pet according to their need and cases.

Cost Comparison of Apoquel and Cytopoint

The cost can be a significant factor when considering the use of Apoquel or Cytopoint for your pet’s allergies. While both medications are effective in managing allergic symptoms, there are differences in their pricing structures that may influence your decision.

Recently, the average cost of Apoquel ranges between $1.5 to $3 per tablet, depending on the geographical area and purchase quality. A proper prescription by a licensed vet is required to purchase Apoquel, which may add to the cost of vet consultation. On the other hand, Cytopoint is administered through injections and is only available through a veterinarian. A single injection of Cytopoint can range from $50 to $100.

It is worth noting that the frequency of administration differs between Apoquel and Cytopoint. Apoquel is typically given twice a day for the first two weeks, after which it can be reduced to once a day. In contrast, a single injection of Cytopoint can provide symptom relief for up to 8 weeks.

However, Cytopoint may not be suitable for all pets, and some may require more frequent injections or additional medications to manage their allergies. Ultimately, you cannot decide the best solution for your pet based on the cost of medications. The factors like your pet’s condition, severity, and individual needs cannot be neglected. 

Making the Best Decision for Your Pet’s Health

Choosing between Apoquel and Cytopoint for your pet’s allergies can be difficult. You cannot solely decide the best for your pet and you need help from a trusted and licensed veterinarian. 

The administration of Apoquel and Cytopoint are the first and most highlighted differences between them. Apoquel is taken orally, while Cytopoint is administered through an injection. This may be a factor to consider if your pet has difficulty taking pills or is scared of needles.

Another difference is their duration of effectiveness. Apoquel provides quick relief, but its effects may wear off faster than Cytopoint. Cytopoint may take some time to show its effect, but its effects can last for up to 8 weeks or sometimes 12 weeks in some rare cases.

Cost is another factor to consider when choosing between Apoquel and Cytopoint. Apoquel is generally less expensive in the short term, but Cytopoint may provide more cost-effective relief in the long term due to its longer duration of effectiveness.


  • Apoquel vs. Cytopoint: Both medications provide effective allergy management in pets, with Apoquel targeting inflammation and Cytopoint blocking allergens.
  • Tailored to Pet’s Needs: Consider your pet’s specific allergy type, severity, age, and health when choosing between Apoquel and Cytopoint.
  • Veterinary Consultation is Key: Discussing with a veterinarian ensures you choose the most appropriate treatment and dosage for your pet.
  • Informed Decision Making: Understanding the differences between Apoquel and Cytopoint helps make an informed choice suited to your pet’s unique situation.

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Dr. Isabella Martinez has been a trusted veterinarian in the heart of Miami for the past 19 years. Over the course of her illustrious career, she has treated a myriad of animals, from the tiniest of hamsters to the grandest of Great Danes. Her journey hasn't just been about treating illnesses or performing surgeries; it's been about connecting with the animals and understanding their stories. Miami, with its vibrant culture and diverse pet population, has provided Dr. Martinez with countless tales of joy, heartbreak, and wonder. Every pet has a story, and every owner has a bond with their furry friend that's unique and profound. Recognizing the wealth of experiences she's amassed and the lessons she's learned, Dr. Martinez decided to start a blog apoquel.org delves into her adventures as a Miami vet. Through her posts, readers get a glimpse of the challenges faced in the veterinary world, the breakthroughs in treatments, and the heartwarming moments that make the job worthwhile. "Apoquel" isn't just a blog; it's a testament to Dr. Martinez's dedication to her profession and her love for the animals she treats. Through her words, she hopes to inspire future veterinarians, educate pet owners, and share the magic that happens when humans and animals connect.
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