If your pet is blinking excessively or has swollen eyelid tissue, they may be suffering from dry eye syndrome also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS).
Tacrolimus belongs to a group called calcineurin inhibitors and has anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and immunomodulatory properties. It is designed to inhibit the enzymatic action of calcineurin, a calcium and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that activates the T-cells of the immune system.
Both cyclosporine and tacrolimus showed a significant increase in Schirmer tear test values against KCS within the first month, but efficacy may be higher with tacrolimus in advance canine KCS (Radziejewski, 2016).
Wear disposable gloves when administering tacrolimus to your pet and try not to let the medication touch your skin. Potential side effects may include loss of hair around the eye, mild burning at the site of treatment, and eye spasms. Trace amounts of the drug can be found in the treated animal’s saliva, urine, and feces, so wearing gloves when disposing of excrements is recommended.
This medication is classified as hazardous and precautions should be taken as such. Pharmacy Solutions has designed a customized sterile lab-specific and compliant with <USP 800> to complete medications such as tacrolimus to ensure safety for patients, providers, and pharmacy staff alike.
For more information, you can look at the studies below:
Berdoulay, A., English, R.V. & Nadelstein, B. (2005). Vet Ophthalmol. 8(4):225-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-5224.2005.00390.x.
Radziejewski, K. & Balicki, I. (2016). Comparative clinical evaluation of tacrolimus and cyclosporine eye drops for the treatment of canine keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Acta Vet Hung. 64(3):313-329. doi: 10.1556/004.2016.030. PMID: 27653428.