Major Uses

Pergolide is a dopamine agonist that is used in the treatment of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), or Cushing's disease, in horses. It controls the output of ACTH, which is a hormone that regulates cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone released by the adrenal cortex.

Pergolide is generally necessary throughout life to keep symptoms of PPID in check. Levels and blood work should be performed periodically to ensure effectiveness of dosing.

Common Precautions

Depression and loss of appetite are two of the more common side effects associated with the use of pergolide. These side effects are usually temporary and fade with continued treatment.

A prior form of this medication was removed from the market due to very serious adverse events and reports of death associated with its use in humans. Pergolide is for veterinary use only.

Pergolide interacts with a variety of medications and supplements, including acepromazine, metoclopramide, and dopamine antagonists. It is crucial to report all medications being taken to a veterinarian before undergoing treatment with pergolide or any other drug.

Pergolide should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Possible symptoms of pergolide overdose include seizure, hypotension, and GI disturbance. Any known or suspected overdose should be reported to a veterinarian right away.


Pergolide should be stored in a tightly-sealed container, in a dry location, and at room temperature. It should not frozen. Pergolide should be kept out of the reach of children and animals.


Pergolide is available in 1 mg tablets for veterinary use only. Other forms of this medication may be available from compounding pharmacies.

The typical starting dose in horses is 0.5 to 1.0 mg per horse. Higher doses may be necessary. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

If a dose of pergolide is missed, it should be given as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular schedule resumed. Two doses of this medication should not be given at the same time.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.