Cabergoline is a synthetic ergoline derivative and a long-acting dopamine receptor agonist with high affinity for the dopamine D2 receptor. Cabergoline exerts an inhibitory effect on prolactin secretion by acting on dopamine receptors present in pituitary lactotrophs. This drug also binds to dopamine D2 receptors in the corpus striatum, thereby mimicking the actions of dopamine on motor control. Cabergoline also possesses antioxidant and neuroprotective properties due to its free radical scavenging activity. Cabergoline is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and in the treatment of hyperprolactinemia.
Cabergoline, sold under the brand name Dostinex among others, is a dopaminergic medication used in the treatment of high prolactin levels, prolactinomas, Parkinson’s disease, and for other indications. It is taken by mouth.
Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)
- Typical starting dosage: 0.25 mg taken twice per week.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 0.25 mg. This decision depends on your prolactin levels. Your doctor may increase your dosage once every 4 weeks.
- Maximum dosage: 1 mg twice per week.
Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)
This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.
How to tell if the drug is working: You should have decreased levels of prolactin in your body. Your doctor will check your prolactin levels with a blood test.
Important considerations for taking this drug
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes cabergoline oral tablet for you.
- You should take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor.
- You can take this drug with or without food.
- You can cut or crush the tablet.
- Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries the drug.
- Store cabergoline at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
- Keep this drug in the container it came in.
- Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.
You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include your:
- Heart function. Your doctor may do an echocardiogram (ECG) and other tests to check your heart before and during your treatment with this drug. This is to make sure it’s safe for you to take. If you develop problems with your heart valves, your doctor will stop your treatment with this drug.
- Prolactin levels. Your doctor will do blood tests to measure the amount of prolactin in your body. This will help your doctor decide if you still need treatment with this drug.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.