Both Apoquel and Benadryl are used for the treatment of allergies which could be food allergies, environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, or allergies caused by insect bites.


Apoquel Tablets

Apoquel contains the active ingredient, generic Oclacitinib maleate which is an immune system (a body’s defense system) suppressant drug. It is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved medicine for treating chronic allergies in dogs.

Benadryl Tablets

However, Benadryl contains the active ingredient or generic Diphenhydramine which is an antihistamine drug that works on certain histamine receptors and could treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis), i.e. hay fever, watery eyes, sneezing, cold, flu, coughing, skin irritations, itching, or runny nose, etc.

So, in this article, I decided to answer some questions related to both of these drugs. Like both are FDA-approved anti-allergy medicines for dogs and are being used by thousands of pet owners for their furry friends.

Is Apoquel the Same as Benadryl?

It is a very interesting question to answer for me because many pet owners remain confused about choosing the best medication for their furry friends, especially when it comes to deciding between Apoquel and Benadryl medication.

NO, Both drugs (chemically) are different from each other but are used for the same purpose (for allergies).Apoquel contains Oclacitinib while Benadryl contains diphenhydramine. Both chemical structure, molecular formula, drug class, mechanism of action, and ability to treat skin allergies in pets are different.


Apoquel can work far better than Benadryl when it comes to treating atopic dermatitis (eczema) in dogs. Eczema is a chronic disease that causes severe redness, itching, flaking, irritations, and dryness on the skin.

It may cause hair loss in your pet and is difficult to treat with common antihistamines like Diphenhydramine, Loratadine, Chlorophinaramine, Ebastin, Cetirizine, etc.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) medication can be used for treating mild to moderate symptoms of seasonal allergies in pets but has low efficacy in treating severe allergic disorders, i.e. Dermatitis, Atopic dermatitis (eczema), etc.

Can a dog take Benadryl and Apoquel together?

Apoquel vs. Benadryl Together

Apoquel is compatible with certain commonly used medications such as antibiotics, vaccines, and parasiticides, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Antihistamines, including Benadryl and Apoquel, are considered safe to use together.

Some advantages and disadvantages of co-administration of Benadryl and Apoquel:

Pros & Cons

  • Provide additional relief for allergies and inflammation.
  • Help to reduce the severity of symptoms.
  • Used in combination to treat specific conditions.
  • May cause side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and upset stomach.
  • May interact with other medications your dog is taking, so consult with your veterinarian before giving them together.
  • May not be suitable for dogs with certain health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease.

While it is generally considered safe to give dogs Benadryl and Apoquel together – it’s important to consult with a VET before administering any medication to ensure safety and efficacy.

Side Effects

Both drugs are safe, Food and Drug administration approved, and effective when are used in the recommended dose.

They rarely cause any side effects or adverse reactions. But if you observe the following adverse reactions by using any of these drugs then it is suggested to immediately discontinue the use and consider getting a veterinarian (Doctor) help:

  • Inflammation or swelling on any part of the body
  • Infection
  • Digestive system problems like vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, etc
  • Mood or behavior changes, i.e. Continuous barking, sleepiness, lethargy, etc
  • Or if it worsens the pre-existing illness

Apoquel is an immunosuppressant drug that works by suppressing the immune system which helps our body to fight against harmful pathogens, i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes. Continued, persistent, and long-term use of oclacitinib maleate may increase the risks of other problems (infection).

Benadryl is an antihistamine drug that doesn’t suppress the immune system. Also, it is highly recommended for treating mild to moderate allergic disorders in dogs, cats, and other small animals.

It doesn’t increase the risks of infections, cancers, or other disorders that are associated with a weak immune system.

A doctor of animals (veterinarian) may decide which one drug is better for a dog when considering treating allergies in dogs.

No doubt, Apoquel tablets have more than 90% satisfied clients all over the globe and are the only JAK-1 cytokines inhibitor medication.


If I Summarize all things I shared in this piece of article in a few lines, I would say Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Apoquel (Oclacitinib) both are different in their chemical structure, molecular formula, drug class, and effectiveness.

Apoquel works by suppressing the immune system and can be used for severe allergic disorders in dogs, i.e. dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, etc. Doctors suggest that long-term use of oclacitinib doesn’t cause any harm but the risks factors are linked with long-term use of Apoquel are cancer and infections, etc.

You may like reading about:  The interactions between Apoquel and PrednisoneBenadryl works by blocking histamines (released by the immune system) in the body. It is also very effective in treating mild to moderate symptoms of allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergies, i.e. hay fever, runny nose, watery eyes, skin inflammation, swelling, irritations, etc.Both can be used together (however, there is no need to use them at the same time). There are no interactions reported between them. However, consult a doctor or veterinarian if you observe any adverse reactions, i.e. inflammation, digestive disorders, behavior changes, etc.

Doctor Xeeshan

Doctor Xeeshan

I am Doctor Xeeshan, located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. In this blog, I am providing authentic information about dog breeds, diseases, medications, etc.


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