Cabergoline: Long-acting oral treatment of hyperprolactinemic disorders

C. Ferrari, A. Mattei, G. B. Melis, A. Paracchi, M. Muratori, G. Faglia, D. Sghedoni, P. G. Crosignani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cabergoline, a new orally active dopaminergic drug with an extremely long-lasting PRL-lowering effect, was given to 48 hyperprolactinemic women for 3-18 months (median, 8 months) at doses varying between 0.2-3 mg/week administered one to three times weekly. Serum PRL levels declined to normal in 41 women, 30 of whom received 0.2-1 mg cabergoline once weekly, 8 received 0.2-0.5 mg twice weekly, and 3 received 0.4-0.6 mg 3 times weekly. Five women had slightly supranormal serum PRL levels while receiving 0.3-0.6 mg once weekly, but the dose was not increased because the lower dose had produced the desired clinical benefit. Two women had 50% reductions in their serum PRL levels, but remained hyperprolactinemic while receiving 2-3 mg cabergoline weekly. Among 30 amenorrheic women, 28 had resumption of menses, the exceptions being 2 hypopituitary women, presumptive evidence of ovulation was available in 21. Marked tumor shrinkage occurred after 3-month treatment in 5 of the 6 women who had macroprolactinomas. Only 4 women had side-effects during the first weeks of treatment, and these vanished despite continued cabergoline administration at the same or reduced, but still effective, doses. In a short term, double blind study, cabergoline at 3 different schedules (0.4 mg twice weekly, 0.2 mg 4 times weekly, and 0.4 mg 3 times weekly for 3 weeks, followed by 0.4 mg twice weekly) or placebo was given to a total of 24 hyperprolactinemic women (6 in each subgroup) for 8 weeks, with weekly evaluation of serum PRL levels and side-effects. All 3 cabergoline schedules, but not placebo, induced significant reductions in serum PRL concentrations during the 8-week treatment period. Mild transient side-effects occurred in 7 drug-treated patients (nausea in 5; dizziness in 3). We conclude that cabergoline is effective treatment for hyperprolactinemia. Its efficacy, tolerability, and long duration of action may make it the drug of choice for patients with hyperprolactinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1206
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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