Cyclosporine is being increasingly used in veterinary medicine. Oral formulations of the drug have found many therapeutic uses, but topical formulations have met with only limited success, probably owing to their poor penetration through the stratum corneum. The concurrent use of ketoconazole to inhibit cyclosporine metabolism has been shown to reduce the required dose and hence the cost of cyclosporine therapy. In human medicine, adverse reactions to the drug, especially nephrotoxicity, are common but in dogs given the commonly used oral dose of 5 mg/kg per day there have been few adverse reactions. However, no toxicity studies lasting longer than 12 months have been carried out in this species. This paper reviews the pharmacokinetics, drug and procedural interactions, contraindications and the adverse reactions to cyclosporine, with particular reference to its use in the treatment of dermatological conditions in dogs, cats and people.
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