Wedgewood Introduces Peppermint- and Alfalfa-Flavored Pergolide

Wedgewood Pharmacy has introduced peppermint- and alfalfa-flavored pergolide for horses in its Gourmeds dosage form. Gourmeds are chewable, naturally flavored tablets that are easy to administer.

Pergolide mesylate, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans, was withdrawn voluntarily from the market in March 2007 because it was reported to carry a risk of serious heart-valve damage in humans.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 disease to laminitis. The withdrawal of the drug for human use had an unintended, but serious, side effect in the horse community, because it left equine veterinarians scrambling for a legal alternative--source for this critical medicine.

Wedgewood Pharmacy, one of the nation's largest compounding pharmacies, has become a key source for pergolide, providing it in suspension form as well, by veterinary prescription only.

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."

George J. Malmberg, RPh, FACA, FACVP, the pharmacist president and CEO of Wedgewood Pharmacy, noted, "It is precisely because of circumstances such as this that compounding pharmacies are an indispensible component of the health care system."

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