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Dogs and Cats
May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, atopic dermatities, perianal fistula
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Pimecrolimus is an immunomodulatory drug from the same family as tacrolimus. These drugs were originally developed specifically for the treatment of inflammatory skin disease in people. The mechanism of action for both pimecrolimus and tacrolimus is through the inhibition of calcium-dependent pathways that effect the enzymatic action of calcineurin. This, in turn, blocks the proliferation of T lymphocytes and cytotoxic cells.
Pimecrolimus has significant anti-inflammatory and immunmodulatory properties, veterinary use of both pimecrolimus and tacrolimus is primarily for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) in dogs and cats, and immune-mediated dermatologic diseases.
There is a topical pimecrolimus cream that is approved for human use called Elidel®. It is used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in humans.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca due to decreased tear production is primarily an immune-mediated disease of the lacrimal glands. It is seen more commonly in dogs than in cats. Cyclosporine has been the standard drug for the treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca treatment, although not all animals respond adequately. Ophthalmic pimecrolimus is considerably more effective than cyclosporine in decreasing clinical signs due to inflammation, and equally as effective in increasing tear production. Animals with immune-mediated KCS will need to be on treatment for the rest of their lives.
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Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.