There are a number of options for short-term medications to help control your pet’s allergy symptoms. Our recommendation is to use these products in addition with Alergovet Immunotherapy to ensure your pet is comfortable but with a long-term goal of only administering natural allergy treatment – immunotherapy – for your pet’s condition. Alergovet Immunotherapy is a safe, effective and long-term treatment. The treatment is the only tool to address the root cause, not only the symptoms.
There are today three key product categories that provide short-term allergy solutions. While these do not fight the root cause, they provide comfort by suppressing the allergic reactions but most come with side-effects.
Steroid therapy, like prednisolone, is a successful short-term solution but prolonged use can have significant disadvantages. Steroids reduce pruritus by reducing inflammation. However, they also affect every organ in the body. Steroids should primarily be considered when the amount of drug is small or as a last, short-term resort for extreme discomfort. Side effects include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate and behavioral change. Long-term use can result in diabetes, decreased resistance to infections and increased susceptibility to seizures.
These medicines target the immune system in various ways to stop your pet from itching. As they affect several systems in the body, they are for short-term use only.
Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant drug. It suppresses the immune responsiveness. It takes a month to become effective. A common side effect is gastrointestinal upset.
Oclacitinib is an immunomodulatory drug which prevents the itch signal from reaching the brain. It blocks the signaling systems that affect several hundreds of different functions in the body. While the drug may be successful at blocking the itch signals and alleviate symptoms for a short period, it does not treat the underlying allergic disease and negatively impacts other key immune functions such as the body’s ability to fight infections.
Monoclonal antibody-based biologic therapy is the newest tool for itch relief for short periods. Lokivetmab is injected in clinic and typically provides relief for around 4 weeks. It neutralizes a specific protein, which helps to send itch signals from the site of allergic inflammation through the nervous system to the brain. Like all other symptomatic medications, it only provides itching relief – it does not address the underlying cause of the allergic condition.
No independent studies on side effects following long-term use of Lokivetmab are available. Lokivetmab is best used as short-term therapy for itch relief in conjunction with the early, build-up phase of immunotherapy or to help control occasional flare-ups that come with chronic allergic disease.
Key facts about symptomatic allergy solutions:
- As these treatments only treat the symptoms, they must be maintained if we want to keep the animal under control.
- Treatments other than immunotherapy should be restricted to short-term use only
- Symptomatic allergy solutions provide symptomatic relief but fail to address the underlying causes of allergy
- Symptomatic allergy solutions can be used in addition to immunotherapy during the build-up phase or following flare-ups