Short-term allergy solutions
There are a number of options for short-term solutions to help control your pet’s allergy symptoms. Our recommendation is to use these products in conjunction with 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. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is a safe, effective and long-term treatment. The treatment is the only tool to address the root cause, not 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 itching 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 effect several systems in the body, they are for short-term use only.
Atopica, Cyclance and Sporimune are immunosuppressant drugs. They suppress the immune responsiveness. It takes a month to become effective. A common side effect is gastrointestinal upset.
Apoquel 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. Cytopoint is injected in clinic and typically provides relief for around 4 weeks. Cytopoint neutralizes a specific protein which helps to send itch signals from the site of allergic inflammation through the nervous system to the brain.
No independent studies on side effects following long-term use of Cytopoint are available. Cytopoint 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. Cytopoint fails to address the underlying cause of allergy.
Key facts about short-term allergy solutions:
- Treatments other than immunotherapy should be restricted to short-term use only
- Short term allergy solutions provide symptomatic relief but fail to address the underlying causes of allergy
- Short-term allergy solutions can be used in conjunction with immunotherapy during the build-up phase or following flare-ups
- Immunotherapy is safe, effective and well-recognized for long-term use