Drug to Treat Cushing’s Disease in Horses Approved by FDA

PetMD Editorial
Updated: January 25, 2018
Published: November 18, 2011
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Prascend (peroglide mesylate) has become the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in horses to treat Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID or Equine Cushing’s disease). Prascend is intended to control the clinical signs associated with Cushing’s disease.

Peroglide mesylate is a dopamine agonist that is supposed to work by stimulating dopamine receptors in horses with PPID. It decreases plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH), and other pro-opiomelanocortin peptides.

Cushing’s disease is a common disease acquired by middle-aged to older horses, the end result being morbidity and mortality if left untreated. Veterinarians diagnose Cushing’s through a combination of clinical findings and diagnostic testing. Certain signs that indicate Cushing’s include a coat of long, curly hair that does not shed properly, excessive thirst, excessive urination, abnormal fat distribution, muscle loss, excessive sweating, depression, chronic laminitis, and a compromised immune system – which may lead to respiratory ailments, skin infections, hoof abscesses, and tooth infections as well.

A six month field study on 122 horses supports the claims that Prascend is both safe and effective. Effectiveness was measured via improvements in endocrinology testing and reduction of the clinical signs related to PPID. Based on this, 86 of the 113 evaluable horse cases (76.1 percent) were considered treatment successes.

Common side effects seen include loss of appetite, lameness, diarrhea, colic, and lethargy.

Prascend is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Image: Monkey Business Images / via Shutterstock

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