Prascend vs pergolide

my horse has been on prascend for about 9 months.

cushings, also founder with sinking and rotation, 11 months later, she is sound and able to go out in a tiny rehab dry paddock, and hand walking in the arena. (thousands of $$ in vet bills to get her to this stage, worth every penny), but my Q is about pergolide.

she has always eaten the prascend in her feed. i recently switched to pergolide bc it costs $2 per day vs $3 per day for prascend. she was eating the prascend in farriers formula which she screamed for as a treat

she has spit out the pergolide capsule, so i put it in a tiny bit of banana and she gobbled it up twice - she had no carrot /apple / banana / grass for 11 months

now she will not eat the farriers formula at all, will not take the pergolide in a piece of banana, will not take a plain piece of banana.

does any one know if pergolide capsule has a nasty taste that she may now associate with the farrier’s formula or banana?

if so, i will go back to Prascend

Both can cause appetite issues. I have a horse on Prascend and I have to rotate what I give her the pill in. It is possible the pergolide gives her more issues, or it is possible that the dosage is off? I have read that they are absorbed differently by horses, so maybe she is getting too much/too little medication now?

Prascend is pergolide. Are you now giving a compounded pergolide of some sort? If so, who knows what’s in it. Depending on the pharmacy, there may be a wide variation in ingredients (flavoring, binders, possibly even dose).

The only helpful thing I can add is that Prascend dissolves very easily. If you are determined to keep trying the other thing, maybe try to dissolve it in a small syringe and just dose her with it.


Is the dosage of the Pergolide the same as the Prascend? I’m asking because my late horse was up to 8mg of Pergolide when my vet convinced me to switch to Prascend. The cost for eight pills would have been astronomical but she said horses are controlled on a much lower dose of Prascend than Pergolide. Sure enough, he was maintained on just 1.5 mg of Prascend.

So even though you’re saving a buck a day for the Pergolide, I’d hesitate switching, especially after such a long and expensive recovery.

Sorry I can’t answer your question about the flavor. My guy usually didn’t notice either pill in his food.

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I, too, would stick w Prascend. I have two very picky eaters that will take some convincing if I try to sneak something in their food they don’t like. You may have to reintroduce FF now that’s it’s been tainted. I know I would. Good luck!

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If I remember correctly, doesn’t prascend/pergolide affect the horse’s taste? Maybe your newer pills could be causing more of that side effect because of some difference between the two pills?

You are not alone in having horses not want to eat it, not only because it suppresses appetite but it also has a bad taste of some sort. I had luck wrapping it in something strong flavored— like a piece of fruit roll up or jammed into one of those spearmint flavored gummies. I hated feeding it. I miss the two horses I lost who had cushings but I’m very glad to be done with feeding that medicine!

When I used Prascend I used a wormer syringe and applesauce to get it down. There was no way I could get the pony to eat it.

thank you all for your advice.

my vet said that the pergolide is compounded, so it makes sense that something in there may not taste very good. I may just taste it myself. My horse is not normally fussy with meds, she will eat bute plain, without any food.

I will look at the dosage when I get to the barn. Vet said to give one pill daily, (same as the prascend) and I did not think to ask any questions about dosage.

I have only been using the pergolide for two weeks. I will probably switch back to prascend.

I feel awful that she no longer likes farriers formula. That has been the only “treat” she has had in almost a year. Hopefully after a week or so, she will no longer associate it with the pergolide.

Definitely do not taste it. It can have adverse effects in humans.


I think this is your answer. I would not trust compounded pergolide for my PPID mares. There is no guarantee of the dosage, the shelf stability, or even the ingredients. It’s just not worth a small cost savings to gamble with effectiveness.

This podcast may help explain more about the difference:

I’d transition back to what you were doing since it was working so well.


Nope nope, don’t do that, don’t touch it with your bare skin either, the chemical can do really terrible things to you (not likely as a one-time thing, but still, nope!). Besides, our taste doesn’t correlate to a horse’s. I’ve tasted some of the treats I use and they’re TERRIBLE, but they love them, so…

If he was on 1 Prascend, which is 1mg, then hopefully your vet had the pergolide compounded to a 1mg dose

Compounded pergolide can work, but often it doesn’t, due to mixing inconsistency (so not all capsules have the exact same amount of drug), and/or loss of potency over time

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From what I have read and heard from my vet compounded pergolide is notoriously unstable. As in, what you get is fine at first but not effective after it sits. If what you are dosing is not an effective drug then you are not saving money.


1mg prascend should equal 1 mg of pergolide. Prascend is just the name brand for the drug. But not all compounding pharmacies are equal. I use Wedgewood and so far their pergolide dose is equivalent to Prascend. Wedgewood is able to make a flavored powdered version for my picky horse. I mix it in a glob of molasses and so far he cleans it up. (He isn’t insulin resistant so sugar isn’t an issue). I wouldn’t have switched if my horse would eat the name brand or tolerate being syringed everyday.


I use Wedgewood too, but powdered or liquid for my choke prone mare. She’s not picky, but it’s mixed into her mash and no issue eating it at all. They can flavor it as well.

She’s been on it for years and so far so good. I couldn’t risk the choke with the pills.

she ate the pergolide today in a sliver of apple. and then happily ate half of her farriers formula, so i hope she will soon love that again… YAY!!!

sugar / molasses / carrots, etc. is not something she can have on a regular basis.

syringing anything is very difficult - when she was on max bute early in the founder, the barn manager tried to syringe omeprazol … he gave up after a few days. she is fine for vaccinations, blood work, farrier, but syringing anything is a problem - i get the deworming done 3 or 4 times per year, but it is not easy

I will order prascend next week and that may take a week or so to be delivered.

i am so grateful to you all for your advice.


I’ve had great luck with Wedgewood too. I weighed my options with their various dosing options and potency. I’m saving money by doing powder filled capsules and have had very good results. Last test, her ACTH levels were elevated compared to previous test (which was on Prascend) but clinical symptoms are night and day different (with increased dosage).

Their tablets are apparently about the same cost as Prascend, powders are unstable, liquid is an option but freezing is a problem for me and I believe liquid is also unstable. Most of the options can come with flavoring except the capsules. Mine doesn’t have an issue with the capsules and she eats them just thrown on top of her meal of ration balancer (twice daily). Though she used to occasionally sort out the Prascend tablets when I used them.

And can be deadly to cats/dogs. DO NOT TASTE IT.

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I have a Cushings mare who went from eating every treat to refusing everything on Prascend, including her ration balancer pellets. I do have to dissolve and syringe the tablet , but it wasn’t easy at first. My technique, as taught be vet:
-stand on right side of head,syringe in right hand.
-with left hand place fingers in mouth on the bar (no teeth), thumb under jaw to hold head down
-with right hand, slide syringe into mouth and as far back as possible, depress plunger
-lift head so horsie can’t spit those dollars out!
My mare still has a poor appetite but at least she’s getting her meds.

Did you take her off, and wean slowly back on?

If so, and it’s still an issue, get some APF Pro, it’s helped so many horses get past the veil.

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