Prascend® for Treating Equine Cushing's Disease
FDA-Approved Drug Available to Treat Equine Cushing’s Disease
Equine Cushing’s disease, or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), is a common disease found in older horses and requires a simple blood test to diagnose.  PPID is treated with pergolide, a medication originally developed to treat Parkinson’s disease in humans.  The drug was found to cause significant side effects in humans and, in 2007, it was taken off the U.S. healthcare market.

With no domestic supply of the drug, the equine industry imported pergolide from overseas and used compounded formulations – both of which are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  One recent study showed most compounded formulations are ineffective. 

In November 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., announced it had secured FDA approval for pergolide, sold under the brand name Prascend®.  FDA approval assures the product has been thoroughly evaluated for safety, efficacy, quality and consistency from dose to dose.

Prascend is available through our office. Please note, due to legal restrictions, we are no longer able to prescribe pergolide in compounded formulations or obtained from overseas.

About PPID
Equine Cushing’s disease, or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), is one of the most common diseases of older horses.  PPID causes the body to produce too much steroid, which can negatively impact a number of body systems and quality of life.  Signs of the disease include long, sometimes curly hair coat, abnormal sweating, weight loss, muscle wasting, abnormal fat deposits, lethargy, laminitis, increased urination and water consumption, and recurrent infections.  A simple blood test is required to diagnose this disease. 

Prascend is a once daily medication used to treat this disease.  The dose will vary per horse and can change over the horse’s lifetime.  Horses with PPID should be tested every two months until the effective dose has been determined and then every six months thereafter. 

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