As a veterinarian, I receive a lot of questions regarding the use of dog medication especially on Apoquel tablets (contain generic: Oclacitinib maleate). It’s good to see that pet owners care about what kind of drugs we (veterinarians) prescribe to their furry pals.

Here, in the following piece of article, I am going to answer a most asked question, i.e. “Can I use Apoquel and Prednisone together?“.


Both Oclacitinib maleate and prednisone are prescription drugs and are only be purchased with a vet prescription. So the one thing has been cleared that nobody is allowed to buy this immune system modulator (Apoquel) and Steroid (prednisolone: liver converts prednisone into prednisolone) drugs over the counter or without a vet prescription.

Hence, if a vet has prescribed these two drugs together for treating a dog’s itchy skin you shouldn’t be worried about the outcomes. However, you may consult with your dog’s vet (who has prescribed these two drugs together) if this combination causes any kinds of adverse reactions or side effects.

Common Side Effects of Using Apoquel and Prednisone Together

Anyhow, both drugs can be used together and Oclacitinib (an immune system modulator drug) doesn’t interact with prednisone or any other steroids.

But in a few cases, the combination of Apoquel tablet and steroids may give unwanted consequences. Below are the common side effects, adverse reactions, and risks you must consider while taking these drugs together;

  • Increased risk of bacterial/fungal/viral infection
  • Highly suppressed immune system or the defense system of a dog’s body
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Abdominal disorders (gas, bloating, flatulence, ulcers, abdominal pain, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, etc)
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Loss of appetite (partial or complete anorexia)
  • Dental, UTIs, or and respiratory tract infection

You must revisit your pet’s doctor clinic if you observe any of the above side effects in your pet after taking Apoquel (Oclacitinib maleate) tablet and Prednisone (steroid) medication.

Apoquel and Prednisone Drugs Interaction

No doubt, Apoquel doesn’t show any interactions with other drugs like steroids. Researches are on their way and studies on Oclacitinib interactions has been made. Only a veterinarian may decide whether the risks over-weight the benefits.

Also, both immune system suppressant drugs are sold on a valid prescription.

Why Do Vets Recommend Apoquel and Prednisone Together?

Apoquel medication is used to treat severe skin disorders in dogs. It is useful and effective in treating atopic dermatitis (eczema) disease which causes severe itchiness, irritation, redness, swelling or inflammation, rashes, and hives on the skin.

But in some cases, it fails to relieve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and leaves your furry friend in partial discomfort. As it works somehow but doesn’t provide complete relief.

In that case, veterinarians find it crucial to add steroid drugs to the dose. Steroid medication like prednisone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, betamethasone, etc provides instant relief from dog’s itchy skin and other allergic disorders.

Steroids work by suppressing the immune system so high and decreasing the release of cytokines and histamines. Hence, using steroids with Apoquel for the purpose of providing complete relief from allergies in dogs has been chosen by the vets.

Not all veterinarians suggest using steroids with Apoquel but some have prescribed them together and have gotten good feedback (results).

Long-term use of steroids is harmful and increases the risks of serious infections. It decreases the lifespan of a dog and is not recommended (for long-term use). Always consult a doctor or veterinarian before giving any drugs to your pet. This article has been created just for informational purposes and we do not recommend or promote any medicine. We discourage self-medication because it could be harmful and may cause life-threatening or fatal consequences.

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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