Treatment of canine chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus with oclacitinib

The treatment of canine chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE) variants generally requires immunosuppression, which often results in potentially severe adverse effects. Janus kinase inhibitors, like oclacitinib, might be a valuable treatment option due to their rapid inhibition of the action of interferons known to be relevant in the pathogenesis of CCLE.

The aim of this study was to report the efficacy and safety of oral oclacitinib for the treatment of canine CCLE variants.

Seven dogs were diagnosed with CCLE based on clinical signs and compatible histopathological findings. Oclacitinib was administered at the induction dosage of 0.45 mg/kg twice daily to 1.8 mg/kg once daily. The response to treatment was graded as “good” when there was ≥50% lesion reduction, or as “complete remission” if all active lesions had resolved. Complete blood counts were performed at variable intervals.

Data showed a complete remission of all lesions in the dog with exfoliative cutaneous lupus erythematosus, both dogs with mucocutaneous lupus erythematosus and three of four dogs with facial discoid lupus erythematosus (FDLE). A good response was seen in the remaining dog with FDLE. The first visible improvement of signs was seen within two to three weeks, while the time to complete remission was around two months. Clinical adverse effects were not seen, and hematological parameters remained within the reference range.

Researchers concluded that oclacitinib may be considered an effective treatment option for different variants of canine CCLE.

Richard G Harvey, et al. “Effective treatment of canine chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus variants with oclacitinib: Seven cases.” Vet Dermatol. 2022 Oct 13. doi: 10.1111/vde.13128.

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