Cabergoline is a dopamine receptor agonist. With its help, it is possible to reduce the amount of prolactin (a hormone) that is released from the pituitary gland. It is mostly employed to treat hormonal imbalance wherein there is lots of prolactin present in the blood. This condition is also known as hyperprolactinemia. Prolactin is present as a natural substance in the body that assists breastfeeding women to produce milk. Too much of prolactin present in the blood can cause health problems in men. It can also have an adverse health effect on women who are not breast-feeding.
This medication can even be used to treat symptoms that are connected to unwanted breast milk production, infertility, irregular menstruation, sexual problems, and bone loss. It has generally been observed that people who are suffering from pituitary gland tumors also happen to produce lots of prolactin. This health problem can be resolved with the help of cabergoline. You can even use this medication to treat Parkinsonâ€™s disease occasionally. It is nothing but a nervous system disorder that happens to result in problems of balance, movement, and muscle control.
This medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the year 1996. Today, various pharmaceutical companies manufacture this generic medicine. In the forthcoming sections of this write-up, we have provided comprehensive information on cabergoline. We promise after reading this content piece, you will be able to easily decipher when is it best to utilize this medication for effective results.
Letâ€™s now continue with our discussion on the medication. In the earlier section, we mentioned that this medication assists in treating high levels of prolactin in the body.
Some of the prominent symptoms of this disease in women include missed periods, difficulty in becoming pregnant, and unwanted breast milk production (we have already quoted this earlier). As far as males are concerned, it can result in symptoms like enlarged breasts and decreased sexual desire/ability. The great news is that it works as an ergot medication and does not allow the release of prolactin in the pituitary gland.
Now, that you have a fair idea on this topic, the next thing is line is the best way to employ this medication.
What is The Best Way to Use Cabergoline?
This medication needs to be taken directly by mouth. You can take it with or without food usually twice a week. Alternatively, take it as per the recommendation of your doctor. It is possible for your doctor to prescribe a lower dose, i.e., Cabergoline 0.5mg and slowly increase it to a higher dose, i.e., Cabergoline 1mg. This is done over several months to assist in reducing the side effects you have undergone. It is exceptionally vital for you to follow the instructions of your doctor to the â€śtâ€ť for effective results.
It is important to take this medication on a regular basis for best results. We recommend you to mark the dates on the calendar to take the medication religiously. Inform the doctor in case, the situation persists or worsens.
What Side-Effects Do Patients Suffer From While Taking This Medication?
In some instances, patients suffer from:
2. Stomach upset
In case, any of these side effects are observed, inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
It is important to note that doctors prescribe this medication because they consider that the benefits of giving it to you outweigh the risk of the side effects. Most of the people do not suffer from these severe side effects after taking the medication.
But, if you happen to suffer from acute shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, persistent cough, mental/mood changes (like nervousness), unusual strong urges (like increased sexual urges, increased gambling), painful menses, vision changes, or breast pain.
Get instant medical help, for serious side effects like chest pain, signs of kidney problems (like lower back/flank pain, change in the amount of urine).
Rarely do we find patients suffering due to a severe allergic reaction to this medication. But, in case, you find one like a rash, itching, swelling (especially on the face, tongue or throat), trouble breathing, severe dizziness seek immediate medical attention.
It is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of all possible side effects. If you notice other side effects that are not mentioned in this write-up, get in touch with your doctor or physician immediately.
Precautions to Consider Before Taking This Medication
Before you take this medication, always inform your doctor or pharmacist in case you are allergic to the drug or for that matter, any other ergot medications like ergotamine. Alternatively, also tell them about your other allergies. Remember, this medication might contain inactive ingredients that can result in allergic reactions or other problems. Hence, do not forget to talk in length with your pharmacist.
Before taking this medication, do not forget to tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history. This is especially important in case you have a history of:
1. High blood pressure (hypertension);
2. Abnormal scarring/thickening of the lining of the heart/lungs/behind the abdomen (pericardial/retroperitoneal/pulmonary fibrosis);
3. Liver disease.
Also, remember that the medication might make you dizzy. So, do not drive, employ a piece of machinery or do any activity that requires alertness after taking this medication. Conduct these activities only when you can perform them in full consciousness. Minimize the use of alcoholic beverages.
To avoid the risk of lightheadedness and dizziness, slowly rise from the sitting or lying position.
In case you need to undergo surgery, tell the doctor beforehand about all the products that you took (including herbal products, prescription drugs, and nonprescription drugs).
If you are a pregnant woman, take this medication only after getting the recommendation from your doctor, if at all required. Always discuss the possible benefits and risks with your doctor.
Although, it is entirely unknown whether the medication passes through breast milk but, one thing is for sure, it can affect breast milk production. Therefore, it is recommended not to administer this drug while you are breast-feeding. The doctorâ€™s recommendation is the best course of action to take before starting breastfeeding.
Possible Drug Interactions
It is possible to experience drug interactions which can have a significant effect on the way the medication works or it can even enhance the risk of possible serious side effects.
There are times when there is an adverse effect on the way the medication works. This can be due to possible drug interactions, which can increase the risk of potentially dangerous side effects. It is not practical to provide all the relevant details on all the possible drug interactions in a single write-up. Hence, it is advisable always to have a list of prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products that you have used and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Never commence, withdraw or change the dosage of the medication before consulting the doctor.
Letâ€™s now look at some of the products that can potentially interact with the medication:
â—Ź Antipsychotic medications (like haloperidol, thiothixene, chlorpromazine)
Certain medications can remove the amount of cabergoline from your body, thereby reducing its effect. Examples are:
â—Ź HIV protease inhibitors (like saquinavir, ritonavir)
â—Ź Azole antifungals (like ketoconazole, posaconazole, itraconazole), amongst others
What Happens in Cases of Overdose?
In case of overdose or severe symptoms like passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Alternatively, you can even call a poison control center straight away. If you are a US citizen, call local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. For Canadian citizens, they can call a provisional poison control center. Watch out for these symptoms of overdose:
2. Mental/mood changes (like hallucinations);
3. Severe dizziness.
Never share this medication with others. Before commencing this treatment, it is vital to undergo laboratory and/or medical tests like EKG, prolactin levels. This should even be monitored while undergoing the procedure to ascertain the progress and check for side effects. For further information, consult your doctor.
In case you miss out on a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Never double up the dose in case the next dose is due. In such a scenario, skip the missed dose and resume the regular dosing schedule.
Keep the medication at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Never keep in the bathroom. Also, ensure that children and pets are away from it.
Never flush the medications through the toilet or drain them until and unless instructed to do so. If you do not require the medication or do not need it now, discard it properly by consulting with your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
The Final Call
All in all, cabergoline is one of the best medications available in the market. It assists in fighting against high levels of prolactin hormones in your body. Use it as per the instructions by your doctor/pharmacist by overlooking its side-effects and contraindications mentioned in this write-up. This way, you will be able to utilize this medication most effectively.