New Drug for Cushings

While it isn\’t approved in Canada yet, there is a new product soon to be on the market in the United States, which will be the first and only FDA-approved treatment for the management of PPID, otherwise known as Cushings disease.


I\’m curious to know what Canadian vets and farriers will think of this new med, given, of course that it may be approved for use in Canada in the future. Below is the official press release of the product, known as Prascend® (pergolide mesylate), from Boehringer Ingelheim:

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market Prascend® (pergolide mesylate), for treatment of clinical signs associated with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), also known as equine Cushing’s disease.

PRASCEND is the first and only FDA-approved product for the management of PPID in horses. (1) Administered in tablet form, treatment with PRASCEND can improve the quality of life for PPID-affected horses by managing clinical signs and decreasing the risk of complications of the disease, including those that have the potential to be life-threatening.

It is estimated that one in seven horses over the age of 15 has PPID (2) and horses as young as seven years of age have been diagnosed with the disease (3). In addition, up to 70 percent of clinical laminitis cases also may be affected with underlying PPID4. The most common clinical signs of advanced-stage PPID that occur in horses are hirsutism (hypertrichosis) or an abnormal amount of hair growth, abnormal sweating, weight loss, muscle wasting, abnormal fat distribution, lethargy, laminitis, polyuria/polydipsia and chronic/recurrent infections.

“Unfortunately, PPID is not a curable disease,” says Dr. John Tuttle, BIVI equine technical services veterinarian. “However, PRASCEND does offer a safe and efficacious treatment option to veterinarians and horse owners that can help reduce the clinical signs of the disease and effectively improve the quality of life of infected horses.”

While PPID is typically considered a late-stage-of-life disease in the horse, Tuttle adds that with horse owner vigilance and regular veterinary care, the disease may be detected earlier.


“Because the early symptoms of PPID may be difficult to recognize, some horses with PPID may go undiagnosed until the disease becomes more advanced,” says Tuttle. “Through regular veterinary wellness exams, oftentimes the disease can be caught earlier. By beginning treatment in the earlier stages of the disease, we are able to reduce the risk of some of the potential complications associated with PPID, such as laminitis, recurring infections, dental disease and other potential issues of uncontrolled PPID.”

Not only can PRASCEND aid in the management of clinical signs of disease, the FDA approval also assures the product has been thoroughly evaluated for safety and efficacy. In addition, PRASCEND has met the standards set forth by the FDA in regard to production to preserve its identity, strength, quality, purity and consistency from batch to batch, and the product has demonstrated stability and effectiveness over time through a variety of environmental conditions.

“We are excited to offer a treatment option for horses suffering from PPID,” says Tuttle. “We encourage horse owners to continue to work with their veterinarians to find the best treatment for their horse and are confident that PRASCEND can help make a difference in the lives of horses suffering from this disease.”

PRASCEND is for use in horses only. PRASCEND has not been evaluated in breeding, pregnant or lactating horses. Refer to the package insert or for complete product information or contact Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica at 800-325-9167.


1 thought on “New Drug for Cushings”

  1. Susan Kauffmann, WHR Health Editor

    Well, this isn’t really a new drug, per se — it’s a commercially available version of the same drug Cushing’s horse owners have been using forever (pergolide), except they have had to get a compounded version for the last number of years.

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