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- What is cabergoline? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Is cabergolinel available as a generic drug? Do I need a prescription for it?
- Cabergoline side effects and adverse effects
- Do I need to take this medicine with food?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with cabergoline?
- Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about this drug?
What is cabergoline? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
Is cabergolinel available as a generic drug? Do I need a prescription for it?
Yes, cabergolinel is available in generic form. You need a prescription from your doctor or other medical health care professional for this drug.
Cabergoline side effects and adverse effects
The most common side effects are:
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.
Rare (occurring in <1% of patients) side effects include:
Which drugs or supplements interact with cabergoline?
Cabergoline is related to the ergot alkaloids. The use of cabergoline with other ergot alkaloids is not recommended due to the increased risk for adverse events. Ergot alkaloids are commonly used to treat migraine headaches. Therefore, patients receiving treatment for migraine headaches should discuss treatment with cabergoline with their doctor or pharmacist before using cabergoline.
Cabergoline works by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain. It should not be used with dopamine antagonists or blockers which might decrease or cancel out the beneficial effects of cabergoline. Examples of dopamine antagonists are phenothiazines, butyrophenones, thioxanthenes, and metoclopramide (Reglan).
Is this drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
No adequate or well-controlled studies have been conducted in pregnant women. Due to the lack of conclusive safety data, cabergoline should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed. Cabergoline is classified in FDA pregnancy risk category B.
Cabergoline should not be used in breastfeeding mothers because it interferes with the production of breast milk. It is not known whether cabergoline is excreted in human milk.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD., PhD. REFERENCE:
FDA Prescribing Information.