Highlights for cabergoline
- Cabergoline oral tablet is only available as a generic drug.
- Cabergoline only comes as a tablet you take by mouth.
- This drug is used to treat hyperprolactinemia (high levels of prolactin in your body).
- Heart valve problems: This drug can cause heart valve problems. Your doctor may check your heart before and during your treatment with this drug. They may do this with an echocardiogram and other tests. If you have a heart valve problem, you shouldn’t take this drug. If you already have a heart issue, this drug may make your condition worse.
- Scarring of organ tissues: This drug may cause fibrosis. With this condition, organ tissue scars or hardens. It can happen in your lungs, around your heart, or behind your stomach. Symptoms include trouble breathing, a cough that won’t go away, chest pain, swelling in your legs and feet, and pain on your side between your back and stomach. Tell your doctor right away if you have these symptoms. If you have a history of fibrosis, you shouldn’t take this drug.
What is cabergoline?
Cabergoline oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s only available as a generic drug. There is no brand-name version available. Cabergoline only comes as a tablet you take by mouth.
Why it's used
Cabergoline is used to treat hyperprolactinemia (high levels of prolactin in your body). This happens when your pituitary gland makes extra prolactin. High prolactin levels may be caused by a hormone problem or by a tumor in your pituitary gland.
High prolactin levels can cause changes in a woman’s ovulation, menstrual cycle, and breast milk production. In men, high prolactin levels can affect reproduction and cause sexual issues. These issues include a decreased sex drive and not being able to get or keep an erection.
How it works
Cabergoline belongs to a class of drugs called dopamine agonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Dopamine is a chemical your body makes. It prevents your body from releasing prolactin. Cabergoline works by binding to dopamine receptors. This also keeps your body from releasing prolactin, which helps decrease your prolactin levels.
Cabergoline side effects
Cabergoline oral tablet can cause drowsiness as well as other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects of cabergoline oral tablet can include:
- weakness or lack of energy
If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following.
- Scarring of tissues in your organs, such as your heart, lungs, and kidneys. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- shortness of breath
- a cough that doesn’t go away
- chest pain that doesn’t go away
- stomach pain
- swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet
- Heart valve problems. Symptoms can include:
- swelling in your arms, legs, hands, or feet
- trouble breathing
- changes in your heart rhythm
- chest pain
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Cabergoline may interact with other medications
Cabergoline oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with cabergoline are listed below.
Drugs you should not use with cabergoline
Don’t take these drugs with cabergoline. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in your body. These drugs work in the exact opposite way that cabergoline does. This means these drugs and cabergoline will not work well because their effects cancel each other out. Examples of these drugs include:
- Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol, thiothixene, chlorpromazine, and prochlorperazine
- Anti-nausea drugs such as metoclopramide or promethazine
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
Cabergoline can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of your throat or tongue
If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For people with heart problems: If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart valve problems, you should not use this drug. It can make your condition worse. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if your blood pressure is under control.
For people with history of tissue scarring: If you have a history of scarred tissue in your lungs, heart, kidney, or abdomen (stomach area), you should not use this drug. It can make your condition worse.
For people with high blood pressure from pregnancy: If you’re currently pregnant and have high blood pressure from your pregnancy, you should not use this drug. It can make your condition worse.
For people with liver problems: You may not be able to process this drug well. This may increase the levels of the drug in your body and cause more side effects.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: Cabergoline is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:
- Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
- There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.
Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.
Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.
For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known if this drug passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. This drug may also keep you from making breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
For children: This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.
How to take cabergoline
This dosage information is for cabergoline oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- how severe your condition is
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Forms and strengths
- Form: oral tablet
- Strength: 0.5 mg
Dosage for high prolactin levels
Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)
- Typical starting dosage: 0.25 mg taken twice per week.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 0.25 mg. This decision depends on your prolactin levels. Your doctor may increase your dosage once every 4 weeks.
- Maximum dosage: 1 mg twice per week.
Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)
This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Take as directed
Cabergoline oral tablet is used for short-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.
If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: The levels of prolactin in your blood will stay high. In women, high prolactin levels can change ovulation, menstrual cycles, and breast milk production. In men, high prolactin levels can affect reproduction and cause sexual issues. These include a decreased sex drive and not being able to get or keep an erection.
If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.
If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:
- nasal congestion
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.
How to tell if the drug is working: You should have decreased levels of prolactin in your body. Your doctor will check your prolactin levels with a blood test.
Important considerations for taking this drug
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes cabergoline oral tablet for you.
- You should take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor.
- You can take this drug with or without food.
- You can cut or crush the tablet.
- Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries the drug.
- Store cabergoline at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
- Keep this drug in the container it came in.
- Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.
When traveling with your medication:
- Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
- Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
- You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
- Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.
You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include your:
- Heart function. Your doctor may do an echocardiogram (ECG) and other tests to check your heart before and during your treatment with this drug. This is to make sure it’s safe for you to take. If you develop problems with your heart valves, your doctor will stop your treatment with this drug.
- Prolactin levels. Your doctor will do blood tests to measure the amount of prolactin in your body. This will help your doctor decide if you still need treatment with this drug.
Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor may need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.
Are there any alternatives?
There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.