Prolactinoma (Pituitary Tumor)

  • Medical Author:

    Robert Ferry Jr., MD, is a U.S. board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist. After taking his baccalaureate degree from Yale College, receiving his doctoral degree and residency training in pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), he completed fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

  • Medical Editor: Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)
    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)

    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)

    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Dementia Quiz

Do prolactinomas affect oral contraceptives?

In the past, oral contraceptives (birth control pills) were thought to contribute to the development of prolactinomas. However, this notion is no longer held to be true. Patients with prolactinomas who are treated with bromocriptine (Parlodel) or cabergoline (Dostinex) may also take oral contraceptives. Similarly, post-menopausal estrogen replacement is safe in patients with prolactinomas who are treated with medical therapy or surgery.

Is osteoporosis a risk in women with high prolactin levels?

Women whose ovaries produce inadequate estrogen are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Hyperprolactinemia can cause reduced estrogen production. Although estrogen production may be restored after treatment for hyperprolactinemia, even a year or two without estrogen can decrease the strength of the bones. Women should protect themselves from osteoporosis by regular exercise and increased calcium intake through diet or supplementation, and by avoiding smoking. Women may want to have bone density measurements. They may also want to discuss estrogen replacement therapy with their doctors.

Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology

REFERENCE:

National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/23/2015

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