Cabergoline : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Cabergoline is used to treat hyperprolactinemia (high levels of prolactin, a natural substance that helps breastfeeding women produce milk, but can cause symptoms such as infertility, sexual problems, and bone loss in women who are not breastfeeding or in mens). Cabergoline is in a class of drugs called dopamine receptor agonists. It works by decreasing the amount of prolactin in the body.
How should this medicine be used?
Cabergoline comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food twice a week. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take cabergoline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will likely prescribe a low dose of cabergoline and increase it gradually, no more than once every 4 weeks.
Do not stop taking cabergoline without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will likely reduce your dose gradually.
Other uses for this medicine
Cabergoline is also sometimes used to treat Parkinson’s disease (a nervous system disorder that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cabergoline,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cabergoline, medications such as bromocriptine (Parlodel); dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergotamine (in Cafergot, in Ergomar), methylergonovine (Methergine), methysergide (Sansert), and pergolide (Permax); any other medications or any of the ingredients in cabergoline tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines; ergot medications such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.45, Migranal), ergotamine (in Cafergot, in Ergomar), and methylergonovine (Methergine); haloperidol (Haldol); levodopa (in Parcopa, Sinemet and Stalevo); medications for high blood pressure, mental illness, or nausea; metoclopramide (Reglan); or thiothixene (Navane). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you use or have ever used illegal drugs and if you have or have ever had high blood pressure or any condition that causes thickening or scarring of your lungs, heart, or abdomen. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart valve disease. Your doctor will examine you and order tests to see if your heart valves are healthy. Your doctor may tell you not to take cabergoline if you have signs of heart valve disease or any of these conditions.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking cabergoline, call your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Cabergoline can slow or stop the production of breast milk.
- You should know that cabergoline can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from lying down. This is more common when you start taking cabergoline. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- You should be aware that some people on cabergoline have developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them, such as increased sexual urges or behaviors. There is not enough information to say whether people developed these problems because they took the drug or for other reasons. Call your doctor if you have a need to play that is difficult to control, you have strong urges, or you cannot control your behavior. Inform your family members of this risk so they can call the doctor even if you don’t realize that your gambling or any other intense urges or unusual behavior has become a problem.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cabergoline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- breast pain
- painful menstrual periods
- burning, numbness, or tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical help:
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing when lying down
- chest pain
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- decrease in urination
- pain in the back, side, or groin
- lumps or pain in the stomach area
- abnormal vision
Cabergoline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- stuffy nose
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab and other tests to check your body’s response to cabergoline.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.