Preventing Accidental Exposure
to Regu-Mate® and
Procedures for Safe Handling
Regu-Mate® Solution 0.22%, DIN 00641987, is
an oral progestin used to suppress estrus or as an adjunct to
help maintain pregnancy in some mares. The active ingredient is
altrenogest 2.2 mg/ml. It is intended for use in non-food animals
only. Because it can be administered orally and does not interfere
with the measurement of naturally produced progesterone in the
mare, Regu-Mate® provides advantages as a breeding management
tool. However, there are some health and safety concerns when
working with this medicine. Each barn owner or manager needs to
ensure that methods and policies are in place for the safe storage
and handling of Regu-Mate®. The italicized areas in this information
sheet are direct quotes from the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
for this product (1).
Health Hazard Data - Warning
Pregnant women and others of child bearing age should exercise
extreme caution when handling this product. Acute effects after
single exposure are possible; however, continued daily exposure
has a greater potential for these effects. Acute effects include
disruption of the menstrual cycle, uterine or abdominal cramping,
increased or decreased uterine bleeding and headaches.
People who should not handle this product include: women who are
pregnant or suspect they are pregnant; anyone with thrombophlebitis
or thromboembolic disorders or with a history of these events; people
with cerebral-vascular or coronary-artery disease; women with known
or suspected carcinoma of the breast; people with known or estrogen-dependant
neoplasia; women with undiagnosed vaginal bleeding; people with
a benign or malignant tumor which developed during the use of oral
contraceptives or other estrogen-containing products; anyone with
liver dysfunction or disease.
There are no warnings on the MSDS for men regarding the effects
of Regu-Mate®. However, there are a few research papers which
indicate that there can be some long-term effects on stallions which
were treated with this medicine. Miller et al. found that the testosterone
of stallions was suppressed for 60 days after treatment with this
medicine(2). Therefore, it would be prudent that humans of both
genders take the same precautions to prevent skin and eye contamination.
Accidental contact can occur when employees come in contact with
objects contaminated with Regu-Mate®. This begins when an employee
prepares and/or administers the drug, uses a pen to record the treatment,
handles the records, and/or opens doors with hands or gloves that
are contaminated. If the Regu-Mate® is not washed off immediately
or the gloves removed, anything touched can become contaminated
with the drug. This increases the chance of other employees coming
in contact with it. The risk is amplified when a large number of
mares are being dosed and when several dosing syringes need to be
loaded or reloaded. Take care and continuously replace contaminated
disposable gloves with clean ones. The person carrying the Regu-Mate®
should not be simultaneously completing records. A second person
should do the record keeping and handle the doors to the sheds or
Storage and Disposal
Regu-Mate® should be kept out of the reach of children. Store
at room temperature below 25oC in well-closed containers. Protect
To prevent cross contamination,
- Store Regu-Mate® in a box, location or cupboard away from
all other medications.
- Use syringes dedicated only to the oral medication of Regu-Mate®.
Spilled Regu-Mate® should be cleaned up and contaminated materials,
containers and syringes should be incinerated.
Personal Protection and Hygiene
When administering Regu-Mate®, wear protective clothing consisting
of safety glasses and coveralls, which can be washed or disposed
of, and at least two layers of non-porous rubber or vinyl gloves.
Regu-Mate® is easily absorbed through unbroken skin. Wearing
two layers of gloves allows for disposal of the contaminated gloves
and leaves clean gloves for opening doors, etc.
Hand-washing facilities should be suitably located around the barn/farm
to encourage frequent hand washing. Research at a human hospital
showed that, as the access to a hand-washing facility increased,
the hand-washing compliance increased(3). Thorough hand washing
with soap is adequate in most cases. Antiseptic soaps (e.g., chlorhexidine
or iodophor shampoo/washes) may also be used and should be located
at the sink in an easy dispensing container. Chemical contamination
can also occur with other common medicines, including horse dewormers
such as Eqvalan®. They should be washed off immediately if they
come in contact with bare skin. If workers are required to walk
a long distance and open doors to reach a sink, hand washing usually
won't occur and door handles and other objects will become contaminated.
First Aid Procedures
- In case of contact with eyes, immediately flush with plenty
of water for 15 minutes. Get medical attention.
- In case of contact with skin, wash immediately with soap and
water. Contact a physician.
- In case of ingestion, do not induce vomiting. Seek medical attention
Recommendations and Guidelines for the Handling and Administering
Barn managers should be instructed to post protocols for the safe
handling of Regu-Mate® and other horse medicines in their barn(s)
and ensure that staff are trained and follow the guidelines.
The following methods will help to minimize or eliminate accidental
skin exposure or contamination of equipment.
- Store Regu-Mate® and dosing equipment in a leak-proof container
separate from all other medications and equipment.
- Wear rubber or vinyl gloves whenever preparing, handling and
- Do not aerosolize (spray into the air) Regu-Mate® when
removing air from the syringes.
- Wear several pairs of gloves if you expect to be using Regu-Mate®
when working alone and in several locations this will allow
you to discard contaminated gloves and use the clean gloves to
open doors, etc.
- Have a second person accompany the person dosing the mares
to assist in opening doors, holding mares and recording treatments.
- Administer Regu-Mate® separately from other treatments.
- Administer directly to the posterior dorsal surface of the
- Should an accidental contamination with Regu-Mate® occur,
wash off the contaminated area with soap and water. See First
Aid Procedures for details.
- In large operations where a large number of mares are being
dosed daily, the use of a dosing gun may reduce contamination
associated with loading and reloading of syringes.
References and Reading Material
- Material Safety Data Sheet, Regu-Mate®. Intervet Canada
Ltd. 250 Water St., Whitby, On L1N 9T5, 2002.
- Miller CD, Varner DD, Blanchard TL, Thompson JA, Johnson L.
Effects of Altrenogest on Behavior and Reproductive Function of
Stallions. AAEP Proceedings 1997; 43: 197-198.
- Boyce JM. Antiseptic Technology: Access, Affordability, and
Acceptance. Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention website http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no2/boyce.htm