Heinrich N.A., Mckeever P.J. and Eisenschenk M.C.
Ciclosporin is an immunosuppressive drug that has been used to treat allergies and other immune-mediated diseases in cats, dogs and humans. Information about the adverse effects of ciclosporin in cats has been limited to smaller studies and case reports. Adverse effects in dogs are mainly gastrointestinal in nature, but humans can also experience hypertension and altered renal function. The aim of this retrospective case series study was to document the occurrence and clinical appearance of adverse events in cats receiving ciclosporin to treat allergic skin disease. The medical records of 50 cats with allergic dermatitis treated with oral ciclosporin (1.9-7.3 mg/kg/day) were reviewed. Adverse events occurred in 66% (33 cats). Adverse events likely to be associated with ciclosporin included the following: vomiting or diarrhoea within 1-8 weeks of receiving ciclosporin (24%), weight loss (16%), anorexia and subsequent hepatic lipidosis (2%) and gingival hyperplasia (2%). Other adverse events less likely to be associated with ciclosporin therapy included the following: weight gain (14%), dental tartar and gingivitis (10%), otitis (4%), chronic diarrhoea (4%), inflammatory bowel disease with indolent gastrointestinal lymphoma (2%), urinary tract infection (2%), cataract (2%), elevated liver enzymes (2%), hyperthyroidism and renal failure (2%) and transient inappropriate urination (2%). Some cats experienced multiple adverse events. Case-control studies are needed to prove cause and effect of ciclosporin with regard to these adverse events.