Cabergoline – Information, Use and Side Effects


Drug Trade Name: Dostinex

Category: Dopamine receptor agonists

Generic Name: cabergoline

Introduction and Quick information:


Cabergoline reduces the levels of a hormone known as Prolactin by activating dopamine receptors. Cabergoline acts by preventing prolactin secretions from the pituitary gland found in our brain.  It is a dopamine receptor agonist.

High levels of Prolactin affect:

  • Breast milk production: It causes excessive production of breast milk in both women & men
  • Fertility: It stops ovulation resulting in infertility
  • Menstrual cycle: It causes irregular periods
  • Sexual function: Might affect libido and result in impotence

Cabergoline is also sometimes used to halt milk production in women for some medical reasons following stillbirth, childbirth or abortion. It decreases prolactin production from Prolactinoma (a benign tumor of the pituitary gland).

Cabergoline reduces the blood pressure when it is consumed for the first time and might result in fainting or dizziness.

Is it approved By U.S. FDA?

This is a U.S FDA approved drug. Cabergoline got the first approval in January 1997.

Usage and Benefits of Cabergoline:

Cabergoline is used to-

  • To treat irregular periods
  • To prevent excessive milk production in women
  • To treat infertility
  • Reduce the prolactin production from Prolactinoma

Cabergoline Side Effects:

There are lots of prescribed drugs that are helpful to our health & are used to cure different health conditions. However, these prescribed drugs can be hazardous to our body and produce certain unwanted side-effects.

Frequent Cabergoline Side Effects:

Frequent side effects are more likely to occur but these are not deleterious to health. If they persist for a long time, you should seek medical help immediately

  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Weakness or tiredness

Infrequent Cabergoline Side Effects:

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking this medicine and seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of allergic reactions:
    • Rash
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, face or lips
    • Tightness in the chest
  • Signs of behavior changes:
    • Increased sexual urges or indulging in risky activities
    • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Depression
  • Fainting
  • Erratic heartbeat
  • Vision disturbances
  • Swelling on feet or hands
  • Hallucinations
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden weight gain

General Recommended Dosages of Cabergoline:

You should take this medicine usually twice a week orally either with or without food  as recommended by your medical healthcare professional.  You may also get the exact dosing instructions on the label. Better you should mark on a calendar to remember the days you are supposed to have this medicine.

The dosage is based on your response to treatment (Prolactin levels) & your medical condition.  In the beginning, your medical healthcare professional will prescribe a low dose & gradually increase the dose to control prolactin production over several months. You must follow your doctor’s recommendations to get maximum benefits from it.

In case I miss the dose?

Lots of people occasionally forget to have the dose of their medicine on time. Health practitioners can help you about what to do in case of missing a scheduled dose.

If you miss a dose, take it the moment you remember but, if it is a time for your next dose, skip it & go on with your normal schedule of dose. You should not take double dose/extra dose to compensate for the missed dose because it might increase the risk of unpleasant side effects.

In case I take overdose?

Cabergoline overdose symptoms might include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations

If you have had an overdose of Cabergoline, you should contact emergency room or Poison Control Center (PCC) without delay.

Drug Interactions of Cabergoline:

Drug interactions may occur due to lack of knowledge about various active ingredients that are involved in the relevant substances. So it is necessary to understand drug interactions to prevent unexpected outcomes. Notify your doctor if you are having any of these drugs:

  • clarithromycin (Macrolides )

Above listed medicine might increase the risk of Cabergoline’s unwanted effects

  • haloperidol (Butyrophenones)
  • chlorpromazine (Phenothiazines )
  • thiothixene (Thioxanthenes )
  • metoclopramide

These above-mentioned drugs might reduce Cabergoline’s efficacy.

Lifestyle and Food Habits you Must Follow When on Cabergoline:

Not only drugs but minerals, tobacco, alcohol, various herbal products etc can interact with  Cabergoline. If you are a little bit skeptic about other medicines that may interact with Cabergoline, ask your doctor about them.

You should avoid alcohol while having Cabergoline because this medicine may kick up dizziness or drowsiness & these effects may be more dangerous due to alcohol. You should neither drive nor should do any daring task while taking this medicine.

Cabergoline may result into fainting, lightheadedness or dizziness. Hot weather, fever, alcohol consumption or exercise may add up to these side-effects. To prevent these unwanted side-effects, stand or sit up slowly, particularly in the morning. You must lie down on the bed if experience these side-effects.  

How Safe is Cabergoline for Pregnant Women or Nursing Mothers?

Cabergoline is under the pregnancy category B by U.S. FDA. It means there are no sufficient studies in pregnant women and animal studies have failed to confirm a danger to the unborn baby. But if you get pregnant you should discuss all the risks & benefits before using this medicine with your doctor.

We don’t have enough information whether Cabergoline passes into the human breast milk or not. You must not breastfeed without consulting your doctor.

Complications and Conditions Possible Due to Prolonged Use of Cabergoline:

Excess of everything is bad. In the same way, if you consume a drug more than the prescribed period of time, it makes our brain & body fully reliant on it. A slight change in the dose of a medicine will affect the body undoubtedly.

So, use the medicine just as directed by your medical healthcare professional.

Availability of Cabergoline:

Cabergoline is a U.S. FDA approved drug. You can get it easily by prescription at government recognized hospitals or at any medical store. You should also ask your medical healthcare provider about its availability, in case you do not get this medicine.