GENERIC NAME: Cabergoline
BRAND NAME: Dostinex
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Cabergoline is a synthetic ergot derived medication that acts on dopamine receptors in the pituitary gland which is located at the base of the brain. Cabergoline stimulates D2 (a specific type of dopamine receptor) receptors in the anterior pituitary gland and prevents the production of the hormone prolactin.
The approval of cabergoline has gradually decreased the use of bromocriptine (Cycloset) for the treatment of hyperprolactinemias (abnormally high levels of prolactin in the blood). Cabergoline may be more effective than bromocriptine, and it has less bothersome side effects. Additionally, bromocriptine is given multiple times per day while cabergoline has a longer half-life which allows it to be given twice weekly. Cabergoline was first approved by the US FDA for the treatment of hyperprolactinemic disorders (high levels of prolactin) on December 23, 1996.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Cabergoline is used for the treatment of hyperprolactinemic disorders or abnormally high levels of prolactin in the blood.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects are:
- dizziness or vertigo,
- low blood pressure,
- constipation, and
- stomach pain.
Less commonly reported side effects are:
- abnormal heart rhythm changes,
- pain in the upper middle area of the stomach,
- nosebleeds, and
- temporary blindness in one half of the visual field in one or both eyes.
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