Wedgewood Pharmacy has introduced peppermint- and alfalfa-flavored Pergolide for Cushngs-affected horses in Gourmeds(TM) dosage form. Gourmeds are chewable, naturally-flavored tablets that are easy to administer -- and tasty as a treat. Gourmeds also is an economical medication form that costs about one-half the price of Pergolide in suspension form.
Pergolide mesylate, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans, was withdrawn voluntarily from the market in March 2007 because it was reported to carry a risk of serious heart-valve damage in humans. Equine veterinarians also prescribe the drug for horses with equine Cushing's Syndrome.
The withdrawal of the drug for human use had an unintended but serious side effect in barns, stables and pastures throughout the United States and left equine veterinarians scrambling for an alternative -- and legal -- source of this critical medicine.
Under the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994, veterinarians are permitted to prescribe drugs intended for human use in "extra-label" uses in animals. According to the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), compounding pergolide from bulk substances for animal use is permitted in response to a valid veterinary prescription to treat an affected horse. The FDA was sufficiently concerned about the market withdrawal of pergolide that it announced that it will "work with sponsors interested in seeking approval of a new animal drug application for the use of pergolide to treat Cushing's Syndrome in horses," according to Wedgewood.
Gourmeds are now available to veterinarians in the United States.