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All about: Cabergoline

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Dostinex

Category

  • Dopamine agonist
  • antihyperprolactinemic

Description

Cabergoline (ca-BER-goe-leen) is used to treat different types of medical problems that occur when too much of the hormone prolactin is produced. It can be used to treat certain menstrual problems, fertility problems in men and women, and pituitary prolactinomas (tumors of the pituitary gland).

It works by stopping the brain from making and releasing the prolactin hormone from the pituitary. Cabergoline use is usually stopped when prolactin levels are normal for 6 months. It may be given again if symptoms of too much prolactin occur again.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Oral
  • Tablets (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For cabergoline, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cabergoline or other ergot alkaloid medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Cabergoline has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans. However, studies in animals have shown that cabergoline causes a decrease in successful pregnancies and other problems. This is because prolactin works differently in animal pregnancies than it does in human pregnancies. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether cabergoline passes into the breast milk. Cabergoline should not be used by breast-feeding women or women planning to breast-feed within a short period of time. Reducing the amount of available prolactin is likely to stop the release of breast milk in breast-feeding women.

Children—Studies of this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of cabergoline in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of cabergoline in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking cabergoline, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Antipsychotic medicines (medicines for mental illness) or
  • Metoclopramide (e.g., Reglan)—Cabergoline may stop these medicines from working properly and require a change in dose for these medicines

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of cabergoline. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • High blood pressure, untreated or
  • High blood pressure of pregnancy (or history of)—Cabergoline usually decreases blood pressure but at times it may increase blood pressure and worsen these conditions
  • Liver disease, mild to severe—Cabergoline may worsen this condition; a lower dose of cabergoline may be required

Proper Use of This Medicine

Do not take more or less of it than your doctor ordered.

Dosing—The dose of cabergoline will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of cabergoline. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For disorders of high prolactin levels or pituitary tumors:
      • Adults—0.25 mg two times a week. Dose may be increased every four weeks as needed, according to body prolactin levels, up to 1 mg two times a week.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by the doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible within 1 or 2 days. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, check with your doctor to see if you can double your dose.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits while you are taking this medicine.

This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do other jobs that require you to be alert .

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help.

Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant. You and your doctor should discuss whether you should continue to take this medicine during pregnancy.

Check with your doctor right away if you have symptoms of fainting, hallucinations, lightheadedness, stuffy nose, or racing heart.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Abdominal pain; sensation that you are moving in space or that objects are moving around you (vertigo)

Rare

Changes in vision; difficulty in concentrating; dizziness or fainting when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position; loss of appetite; swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs; unusually fast heartbeat; weight gain or loss

Symptoms of overdose

Fainting; hallucinations; lightheadedness; racing heart; stuffy nose

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Constipation; dizziness; headache; nausea or stomach discomfort; weakness

Less common

Burning, itching, or stinging of the skin; diarrhea; dry mouth or toothache; gas; general feeling of discomfort or illness; hot flashes; mental depression; muscle or joint pain; runny nose; sleepiness; sore throat; trouble in sleeping; vomiting

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 06/30/1998
Revised: 03/05/2001

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