Drug to Treat PPID Clinical Signs Receives FDA Approval

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

Administered in tablet form, Prascend is the first and only FDA-approved product for managing PPID in horses. BIVI indicates that treating PPID-affected horses with Prascend can improve their quality of life by managing clinical signs and decreasing the risk of potentially life-threatening disease complications.

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

"Unfortunately, PPID is not a curable disease," says John Tuttle, DVM, 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 might 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, often times 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."

The FDA approval also assures the product has been thoroughly evaluated for safety and efficacy. In addition, the drug 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.

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