Cabergoline, also known as “Caber” is from a family of drugs called dopamine agonists. This medication was first marketed in The Netherlands as Dostinex in 1992. Dopamine agonists are fertility drugs that can help you to conceive if you are experiencing problems with ovulation. Cabergoline and Bromocriptine are most commonly used for this purpose. They are used to correct a hormonal imbalance that can prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg every month. They work by stimulating the dopamine receptors in your brain and suppressing the release of prolactin from your pituitary gland.
When you have too much prolactin in your body it’s called hyperprolactinemia. Too much prolactin affects the hormones of your menstrual cycle, including Oestrogen, progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This causes problems with ovulation and makes it difficult to fall pregnant. Studies have found that about 70 percent of women will start to ovulate when Cabergoline is consumed.
A systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that prophylactic treatment with Cabergoline reduces the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Usually this is prescribed within your IVF treatment. Cabergoline is currently recommended for this as it is an effective treatment that will not affect your chance of becoming pregnant or increase your risk of multiple pregnancies.
Cabergoline can be taken along-side Clomiphene within your treatment for infertility. This can have the added benefit of, not only starting to be able to ovulate, but also lowering the risk of having multiple eggs fertilised at once. This means that you will not run the risk of having twins or triplets while trying to conceive a baby.
Cabergoline Uses and Dosage
Cabergoline is sometimes given to women who are not ovulating due to a high level of prolactin in their body. It can also be used for men who are having issues with their reproductive system due to high levels of prolactin within the body.
Cabergoline is a medicine used to treat hyperprolactinemia, a condition portrayed by significant levels of prolactin, this is why it is used within the treatment of IVF to allow the reduction in prolactin levels, as too much prolactin can affect the ovulation process and thus, cause infertility issues. Once you have reduced the prolactin levels within your body this will help to start the ovulation process.
Once you become pregnant, the Cabergoline medication must be stopped, as although the lower levels of prolactin within the body will help to start the process of ovulation, after you achieve your goal of becoming pregnant and your baby is born, prolactin actually helps to start the production of breast milk.
When your baby breastfeeds, or you pump your breast milk, the nerves in your breasts send a signal to your brain to release the hormones; oxytocin and prolactin. The prolactin tells the milk glands in your breasts to make more breast milk, and the oxytocin is responsible for getting the breast milk from your breasts to your baby. This is why it can be dangerous to still consume Cabergoline when you fall pregnant, as if you do not have that high level spike of prolactin within the body, you may not start to produce any breast milk.
If you do not realise that you have fallen pregnant and have still been consuming Cabergoline for some time, do not panic as this should not affect your unborn child, but with that said, it is certainly recommended to contact your local physician or midwife so that they can perform checks to make sure that this has had no effect on your unborn baby.
Once you have stopped consuming Cabergoline due to becoming pregnant, as stated above it is important to make sure that your levels of prolactin rise again if you are planning on breastfeeding (which is recommended for most mothers). The best way to raise your prolactin levels is to breastfeed or pump very frequently. When your baby is born, you should be breastfeeding or pumping at least every two to three hours around the clock. The more often you stimulate your breasts, the more your brain will release prolactin. There are also certain herbs, foods, and medications that you can try to help boost your prolactin levels.
Dosage: The dosage of Cabergoline that should be consumed is 0.25mg each day, because these tablets are 0.5mg, you can consume one tablet every other day. Unlike Clomiphene and other infertility treatment medications that are taken only within your cycle times per month, Cabergoline should be taken consistently throughout the month. This will lower the levels of prolactin within the body and allow the other medications such as Clomiphene and Tamoxifen to be able to achieve the desired goal of starting the ovulation process.
Side Effects Associated with Cabergoline: The side effects associated with Cabergoline are considered very mild, but with that said every medication can effect different individuals in different ways. The mild side effects include; nausea, vomiting, heartburn, constipation, tiredness, dizziness, breast pain, painful menstrual periods and burning, numbness, or tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. If any of these symptoms become apparent, do not panic but watch closely and if these do not subside on their own within a few days, you must contact your physician for further help. The more uncommon side effects include; shortness of breath, difficulty breathing when lying down, chest pain, swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, pain in the back, side, or groin, lumps or pain in the stomach area and abnormal vision. If any of these uncommon side effects occur, please contact your physician immediately for further help.