Pergolide liquid versus oil versus ??

Megan and Reign

My Morgan gelding was diagnosed with Cushings in August and started on Prascend. His dose was increased to 2 MG after 3 weeks when his ACTH retest came out at 78. I haven't retested him since the dose increase, but his energy and behavior is better than it's been in years. The problem is that he will not take the Prascend pills, no matter what I do, so I started melting them and mixing the 2 tabs with plain yogurt each day and syringing them into his mouth (after trying a number of different carriers). This is messy, I invariably get the medication on my hands, and my horse doesn't get the full dose. In addition, this is not something I can ask our feeders to do, so I was going into the barn every day to administer his meds. What would I do if I became ill or wanted to take a vacation? After searching for a better solution, I decided to try liquid pergolide from Pet Health Pharmacy. Wow, it is so easy to administer! Plug the syringe tip into the bottle dispenser cap, suck in 1 ml, and swoosh it into his mouth. Now I can have a day off and a feeder can give him his meds easily and without getting it on her hands. 

Now reading up on liquid pergolide on this group, though, I see many entries about how liquid pergolide has a short shelf life. In my initial research, I had talked to the Pet Health Pharmacy pharmacist about the liquid pergolide shelf life, and he told me it's six months, according to independent testing. I'm willing to order this medication every month - or even every 3 weeks - and keep it refrigerated just to be sure, but my questions are: Is the testing the pharmacy did valid? Is oil-based pergolide better? Do you know of any other solutions that would better? Ordering the capsules and having to mix them with something and then syringe the medication into his mouth isn't as bad as melting the tablets, but it isn't nearly as neat as using the liquid, and there's the issue about getting it on one's hands that I don't like. If I must, I'll do it, but then I'm almost back to Square One.

Thanks for your help!
2019, Gig Harbor, Washington

Sherry Morse

Hi Megan,

1 - you can ask Pet Health for copies of the independent testing or to direct you where to find results on line.  As far as generalized testing on liquid pergolide:

2 - Personally, I prefer to dose everything by syringe if hiding the pill in a bit of carrot or whatever carrier doesn't work.  I'm also a minimalist, which means a 3 cc syringe and just enough hot water to melt the pills (usually 2ccs or so) and then basically put the syringe in as far as possible to the back of the tongue and give the medication.  Using anything else just equals more mess and more opportunity for the meds to get spit out and this way I know it's in the pony.


Megan, we don’t generally recommend pergolide in solution due to its lesser stability but I used pergolide in oil, formulated by a local compounding pharmacy, for years before Prascend was available and I never questioned its efficacy.  I’ve also purchased pergolide in oil from PHP to allow me to gradually increase doses more easily.  That worked fine except I think I ordered more than I needed and I had trouble using it up within the time frame they recommended.  I would not use a water based solution/suspension as pergolide breaks down much more quickly in water than oil.

There are techniques for dissolving a Prascend in water that  are pretty much mess free so I’m not sure what you mean by ‘melting’ them.  If you are using a syringe, which I highly recommend, you can probably skip the yogurt and either offer that or another treat when he’s done swallowing the medication.  Use a small syringe as Sherry suggests.
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

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Frances C.

I struggled with administering Prascend until Chewy started carrying Stabul 1. Now I put 2 oz. of Stabul 1, which is almost the same size as a Prascend tab, into my mare's very special cereal bowl that is used for nothing else, add the Prascend which has had its end dipped into a sticky substance such as honey or molasses so as to make it stick to a couple of stabul tabs and offer the hand held bowl to my girl who gobbles the whole thing up gleefully.
- Frances C.
December 2017, Washington & California
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