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Drugs reference index «cabergoline»


cabergoline (Oral route)


Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Dostinex

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Prolactin Secretion Inhibitor

Pharmacologic Class: Dopamine Agonist

Uses For cabergoline

Cabergoline 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.

cabergoline is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using cabergoline

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:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cabergoline or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of cabergoline in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of cabergoline in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and adjustment of dosage in patients receiving cabergoline .


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast Feeding

Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.

Interactions with 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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

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:

  • Fibrotic disorders (scar-like tissues in the heart or lungs), or history of or
  • High blood pressure, uncontrolled—Should not be used in patients with these conditions .
  • Heart disease (or history of) or
  • Lung disorder (or history of)—Use with caution. Cabergoline may worsen these conditions .
  • High blood pressure 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 cabergoline

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


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.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For disorders of high prolactin levels or pituitary tumors:
      • Adults—0.25 milligram (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 cabergoline, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

However, if it is almost time for your next dose, check with your doctor to see if you can double your dose.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using cabergoline

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits while you are taking cabergoline to make sure that cabergoline is working properly and to check for unwanted effects .

cabergoline may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to cabergoline 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 cabergoline during pregnancy.

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

cabergoline may increase your risk of having problems with your heart valves. Check with your doctor right away if you notice any signs or symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain or tightness; troubled breathing; shortness of breath; extreme tiredness; or swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet .

Also tell your doctor if you have persistent cough along with shortness of breath or troubled breathing while you are using cabergoline. This could be symptoms of a serious lung disorder called pulmonary fibrosis .

cabergoline Side Effects

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)
  • 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
Incidence not determined
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • cough
  • decreased ability to exercise
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • trouble in breathing
Symptoms of overdose
  • Fainting
  • hallucinations
  • lightheadedness
  • racing heart
  • stuffy nose

Some 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. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

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 may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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  • cabergoline Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Cabergoline MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Cabergoline Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Dostinex Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...

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