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Pergolide low-dust granules and non-chewable tablets now available from Wedgewood Pharmacy


Pergolide low-dust granules and non-chewable tablets now available from Wedgewood Pharmacy; Help to reduce exposure risk to chemical, lengthen beyond-use date.

(Swedesboro NJ, April 8, 2009) Wedgewood Pharmacy has introduced custom-compounded Pergolide in two new dosage forms: flavored, low-dust granules and non-chewable tablets. The preparation may be prescribed to treat Cushing's syndrome in horses.

The introduction of these dosage forms responds to two common concerns about treating horses with Pergolide. When prepared in a bulk-powder form, the person administering it is at high risk of inhaling or ingesting the preparation because of the powder’s high dust level. When prepared in a water-based suspension, Pergolide has proven to have a shorter beyond-use date. The new granule and tablet dosage forms effectively address both concerns by reducing dust and offering an extended beyond-use date.

Pergolide mesylate, a drug developed for human use under the brand name Permax by Eli Lilly, was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in August 2007, making it difficult for veterinarians to obtain the preparation for its common off-label use in veterinary practice.

The Material Safety Data Sheet for the chemical pergolide mesylate indicates it is hazardous in case of ingestion or inhalation, and cautions against ingesting or breathing the chemical’s dust. The largest particle size that can be inadvertently inhaled is 100µm (microns), smaller than the particle size of Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded granules (“Particles in Practice: How Ultrafines Disseminate in the Body,” Teacher’s Guide for EHP Student Edition Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 113, Number 11, November 2005, February 2006, p. A758). By compounding Pergolide into a granule or a tablet, the amount of dust produced when administering the preparation is reduced and the larger particle size helps to decrease the risk of exposure.

Historically, veterinarians may prescribe Pergolide in a suspension form in part to avoid the risks of inhalation associated with the bulk powder. However, the suspension has a short beyond-use date from the date it is compounded, often resulting in the costly disposal of the unused expired preparation. Comparatively, compounded Pergolide granules and tablets from Wedgewood Pharmacy have a beyond-use date of one year from the date of compounding. To help increase compliance, the granules are flavored either in alfalfa or apple.

Said George J. Malmberg, R.Ph., F.A.C.A, F.A.C.V.P., the pharmacist president and C.E.O. of Wedgewood Pharmacy, “We are always looking for new ways to best meet the needs of veterinarians and their patients. So when veterinarians asked us to develop Pergolide in granule and tablet forms, we immediately began to formulate them. A secondary benefit of these new formulations is a reduction in the amount of the preparation that is wasted.”

Wedgewood Pharmacy also compounds Pergolide into a flavored suspension and flavored, chewable Gourmeds™. Pergolide is available by prescription for veterinary use in non food-chain animals only.

About Wedgewood Pharmacy

A compounding pharmacy creates customized medications for individual patients in response to a licensed practitioner’s prescription. Wedgewood Pharmacy is one of the largest compounding pharmacies in the United States, serving more than 25,000 prescribers of compounded medications. It is located in Swedesboro NJ and licensed throughout the United States.

Background: About Compounding Pharmacy

Because every patient is different and has different needs, customized, compounded medications are a vital part of quality medical care. The basis of the profession of pharmacy has always been the "triad," the patient-prescriber-pharmacist relationship.

Through this relationship, patient needs are determined by a prescriber, who chooses a treatment regimen that may include a compounded medication. Prescribers often prescribe compounded medications for reasons that include (but are not limited to) the following situations:

  • When needed medications are discontinued by or generally unavailable from pharmaceutical companies, often because the medications are no longer profitable to manufacture;
  • When the patient is allergic to certain preservatives, dyes or binders in available off-the shelf medications;
  • When treatment requires tailored dosage strengths for patients with unique needs (for example, an infant);
  • When a pharmacist can combine several medications the patient is taking to increase compliance;
  • When the patient cannot ingest the medication in its commercially available form and a pharmacist can prepare the medication in cream, liquid or other form that the patient can easily take; and
  • When medications require flavor additives to make them more palatable for some patients.

For additional information, visit the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists’ Web site at www.iacprx.org and www.compoundingfacts.org.

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