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Apoquel Allergy Drug Alternative


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Guest shotbyadam

We just adopted two awesome girl greyhounds from the Tuscon track that just closed and one of them has a terrible allergy. When we got her, we noticed her eyelids were very swolen and she was constantly scratching her face. This was an allergy she's had for a long time and was never treated. When we had her into the vet to have her spayed, we mentioned this to him and he suggested this new "miracle drug" called Apoquel. He suggested we started her on 8mg, twice daily. He gave us a 10 day supply to try out. Within 48 hours we started seeing major results. She stopped scratching her face and the swelling went down considerably.

 

When I told our vet this, he suggested we keep her on a regular prescription of this drug. He did preface this by saying the drug was pretty hard to get but they had some...seriously, he sounded like some street-corner drug pusher here. So I asked for a 30 day prescription and almost fell out of my chair when I saw the bill...about $80...for 30 pills! So we kept her on it but after about a month, we noticed the scratching was starting again, so the doctor is now suggesting that instead of splitting each 16mg pill and giving it to her twice daily that we give her two 16mg pills a day. At $2.75 per pill, that's serious money...$2000 PER YEAR!

 

I love our girl (her name is Agera) but jeez, that's serious money. I called the vet as the 30 day prescription is out and asked if there was any alternatives and he said no. It was pretty much this or antihistamines, which isn't a long-term solution. I called Costco, Walmart, and just about any other pharmacy I could find that fills pet medications and none of them can get this drug. Online, it doesn't sell for much less...about $2.65 per pill, and that's assuming the online pharmacy even has the drug, which many of them don't.

 

I guess our next step might be to take her to an allergen to get an allergy test but does anyone have any other solutions? I really want her to feel better but I have to believe there was a treatment for this before this "miracle drug" hit the shelves 2 years ago.

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Apoquel has really been a "miracle" drug for so many allergy dogs. My own dog was taking apoquel for almost two years. I work in the veterinary field and have had easy and affordable access to the medication. A dog of a greyhound size typically would be prescribed 16mg twice a day for 14 days then, the frequency is reduced to once a day thereafter. Apoquel really isn't expensive--sounds like the lack of availability has allowed a steep markup. It's my understanding that apoquel should be more available now. Not sure why your vet is having a hard time suppling it.

There are a long list of treatments towards allergies--a long list. Something you might consider is seeing a veterinary dermatologist.

A derm vet will be able to more quickly diagnose.

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Guest IrskasMom

My Dog ( non Grey ) chews on one Paw. After one Pill of Apoquel it was over. Please check on Website " GoodRx " . Sometimes they have a Coupon or they tell you where you can get it the cheapest. If you have a Costco nearby , You can get Medicin without being a Member there.

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I would start at square one with the vet dermatologist as tbhounds recommended. Apoquel truly has been a miracle drug for some dogs with allergies for whom other treatments aren't working sufficiently, and I've used it successfully with 2 of my dogs for short term issues, but I remain concerned that there isn't good information about long term use of this drug in dogs. So I don't think just putting a dog on it and leaving the dog in indefinitely without a real diagnosis is necessarily the most responsible thing, especially if it places a high financial burden on the owner.

 

I am a little mystified about the prices as its been inexpensive for us. The GoodRx suggestion is a good one. I've saved a lot of money with that app. In fact just 2 days ago I decided I was done with Costco for Rxs. They have great prices but can never follow through on anything properly so I looked up my girl's medication on Good Rx and found a coupon that actually let me get it for a few bucks less from a pharmacy I much prefer just down the street.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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There are drugs out there, but they all have drawbacks. Benadrl can be very sedating at doses high enough to help. The drug that Apoquel replaced needs dosing 3 or 4 times a day (which may not be cheaper). Once allergy season is over you may be able to wean her off. She may not need it again, it may be seasonal, or she may need to be on it year round.

 

Seeing a canine dermatologist or allergy specialist could help you identify what is causing her issues and help you minimize them. You can try wiping her face and feet off with a warm washcloth every time you come inside.

Edited by greysmom

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest shotbyadam

Unfortunately, GoodRX doesn't even list Apoquel in their search. The majority of online pharmacies don't, and as I mentioned in my original post, Costco, Walmart, or pretty much any major pharmacy I've talked to can't get it. We actually got a letter from our vet this morning in the mail talking about how the drug used to be hard to get but the one company who makes it has amped up production on it but the evidence seems to be to the contrary of that. Truly, nobody in town carries it other than my vet. I think perhaps we need to get her to an allergy specialist and eat the cost of the drug for the month while that's being figured out. Sucks too, because the drug works, but WOW is it expensive.

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Apoquel is a relatively new drug, so it's taken a while for the word to get out and then back to the manufacturer. As they increase the supply, the price should come down.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest shotbyadam

Actually, the opposite is true, and the price has gone up considerably in the last year. The company that makes it has a monopoly on the drug. Demand goes up, supply stays stagnant, the price goes up. That's what's been happening to it. Our vet even confirmed this fact, that the price has gone up considerably since they ramped up production.

 

 

 

 

Apoquel is a relatively new drug, so it's taken a while for the word to get out and then back to the manufacturer. As they increase the supply, the price should come down.

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Our nongrey has been on Apoquel for...three, maybe more (?)...years and though it isn't cheap, it never has been and we have not seen a price jump. There is greater availability than there was two years ago when we were buying it every two weeks because that was the only amount they could get for us and still have it in stock. It has been a godsend for us, because Allie was first put on prednisone for an absolutely miserable six (6!!) *months* and as soon as she was taken it off her itchies and lumps and chewing on herself came back. She was tested and prescribed Apoquel by a dermatologist, and the money spent is a lot better than the misery of prednisone. I think

 

Spend the money to see a veterinary dermatologist, have allergy tests taken (both are $$ themselves, but you'll know what you're treating and can use the right medicine for the job), and discuss things from the position of knowledge. Who knows, maybe you will find that she is allergic to something you can eliminate (food ingredient or something), and save money and stress that way.

 

To respond to the money concern, pets are expensive! We have Al on Apoquel and now Rimadyl and Cosequin (she's 11, and her breed typically lives to 14-15), and Monty, the grey, is on phenobarbitol (since he was 1.75 years old), Rimadyl and Cosequin (he's 10). He needs regular blood tests for pheno levels and also liver function tests twice per year, while Al is getting liver tests twice per year. So, yeah, pets can get very expensive very quickly. Making sure you're using the best medicine for the job does help in the long run, though!

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I find it odd a vet would go as a first course to a new and expensive drug instead of something inexpensive and very effective in many cases OTC med, Benedryl.

 

If you haven't already tried EVERY possible over the counter drug that works on canine non-food allergies, I would suggest you do that.

 

I had a dog with TERRIBLE allergies, and he did just fine on the generic equivalent of ... some human allergy med!

 

I never use new drugs on my pets. How many times do we find out a year or two later they're actually not safe?


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Actually, the opposite is true, and the price has gone up considerably in the last year. The company that makes it has a monopoly on the drug. Demand goes up, supply stays stagnant, the price goes up. That's what's been happening to it. Our vet even confirmed this fact, that the price has gone up considerably since they ramped up production.

 

 

 

 

 

We've also had a dog on Apoquel for over a year and the price has never gone up. And the last time I picked up a refill it was $15 cheaper. Sounds like your vet is making a little money on the side on mark up.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Google the drug. VetRxDirect appears to carry it for $2.26/pill. Google frequently. Prices I'm seeing today were not online Saturday.

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Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
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