Cabergoline oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s only available as a generic drug. There is no brand-name version available. Cabergoline only comes as a tablet you take by mouth.
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.
Cabergoline is an ergot derivative and a potent dopamine D2 receptor agonist.
Cabergoline was patented in 1980 and approved for medical use in 1993.
This medication is used to treat high levels of prolactin hormone in your body. High levels of prolactin in women can cause symptoms such as unwanted breast milk and missed periods and can cause difficulty becoming pregnant. High levels of prolactin in men can cause symptoms such as enlarged breasts and decreased sexual ability/desire. Cabergoline is an ergot medication and works by blocking the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland.
Why it’s used
Cabergoline is used to treat hyperprolactinemia (high levels of prolactin in your body). This happens when your pituitary gland makes extra prolactin. High prolactin levels may be caused by a hormone problem or by a tumor in your pituitary gland.
High prolactin levels can cause changes in a woman’s ovulation, menstrual cycle, and breast milk production. In men, high prolactin levels can affect reproduction and cause sexual issues. These issues include a decreased sex drive and not being able to get or keep an erection.
How it works
Cabergoline belongs to a class of drugs called dopamine agonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Dopamine is a chemical your body makes. It prevents your body from releasing prolactin. Cabergoline works by binding to dopamine receptors. This also keeps your body from releasing prolactin, which helps decrease your prolactin levels.
Cabergoline side effects
Cabergoline oral tablet can cause drowsiness as well as other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects of cabergoline oral tablet can include:
- weakness or lack of energy
If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following.
- Scarring of tissues in your organs, such as your heart, lungs, and kidneys. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- shortness of breath
- a cough that doesn’t go away
- chest pain that doesn’t go away
- stomach pain
- swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet
- Heart valve problems. Symptoms can include:
- swelling in your arms, legs, hands, or feet
- trouble breathing
- changes in your heart rhythm
- chest pain
Cabergoline may interact with other medications
Cabergoline oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with cabergoline are listed below.
Drugs you should not use with cabergoline
Don’t take these drugs with cabergoline. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in your body. These drugs work in the exact opposite way that cabergoline does. This means these drugs and cabergoline will not work well because their effects cancel each other out. Examples of these drugs include:
- Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol, thiothixene, chlorpromazine, and prochlorperazine
- Anti-nausea drugs such as metoclopramide or promethazine
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
Cabergoline can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of your throat or tongue
If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For people with heart problems: If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart valve problems, you should not use this drug. It can make your condition worse. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if your blood pressure is under control.
For people with history of tissue scarring: If you have a history of scarred tissue in your lungs, heart, kidney, or abdomen (stomach area), you should not use this drug. It can make your condition worse.
For people with high blood pressure from pregnancy: If you’re currently pregnant and have high blood pressure from your pregnancy, you should not use this drug. It can make your condition worse.
For people with liver problems: You may not be able to process this drug well. This may increase the levels of the drug in your body and cause more side effects.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: Cabergoline is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:
- Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
- There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.
Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.
Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.
For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known if this drug passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. This drug may also keep you from making breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: 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.
For children: This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.
How to take cabergoline
This dosage information is for cabergoline oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- how severe your condition is
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Forms and strengths
- Form: oral tablet
- Strength: 0.5 mg
Dosage for high prolactin levels
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.