Inhibitory effects of pergolide and cabergoline formulations on daily plasma prolactin concentrations in geldings and on the daily prolactin responses to a small dose of sulpiride in mares

Document Type


Publication Date



Two experiments were conducted to assess the efficacy and duration of action of two dopaminergic compounds, pergolide and cabergoline, on daily prolactin secretion in geldings and on prolactin responses to a small dose of sulpiride over 10 days. In the first experiment, oral administration of 2 mg of pergolide was compared to a single injection of 2 mg of pergolide in a slow-release vehicle and a single injection of 5 mg of cabergoline in slow-release vehicle. Controls received vehicle only. All drug treatments reduced (P<.05) prolactin concentrations relative to that in controls but differed substantially in duration of action (oral pergolide approximately 6 hours or less, injected pergolide 6 to 24 hours, and injected cabergoline at least 6 days). In the second experiment, repeated small doses of sulpiride (2 μg/kg of body weight intravenously) were used to stimulate prolactin release in mares, and the ability of seven daily injections of pergolide (2 mg each) and a single injection of cabergoline (5 mg) in slow-release vehicle to suppress this release were compared. Control mares receiving vehicle injections had robust prolactin responses to the sulpiride injections on all days of injection (days 1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10 relative to treatment). Prolactin responses were muted ( P<.05) by pergolide and cabergoline treatments on the first day of injection (day 0, 30 min after treatment) and were basically absent on days 1 to 8. The single injection of cabergoline continued to be suppressive through day 10, whereas mares previously treated with pergolide (through day 6) had begun to recover a prolactin response by day 10. We conclude that either daily 2-mg pergolide injections in slow-release vehicle or a single injection of 5 mg of cabergoline in slow-release vehicle is an effective way to apply dopaminergic activity to horses for approximately 7 to 10 days and may have application in the treatment of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in affected horses. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of Equine Veterinary Science

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.