Dostinex tablets contain the active ingredient cabergoline, which is a type of medicine called a dopamine agonist. Cabergoline works by mimicking the activity of a substance in the brain called dopamine.
What is it used for?
- Preventing or stopping milk production (lactation) for medical reasons following childbirth, stillbirth or abortion.
- Disorders caused by over-production of the hormone prolactin, such as irregular or missing menstrual periods, stopping of ovulation resulting in infertility, or abnormal production of breast milk in men or women (galactorrhoea).
- Benign tumours in the pituitary gland that cause increased production of the hormone prolactin (prolactinomas).
How does it work?
- Dostinex tablets contain the active ingredient cabergoline, which is a type of medicine called a dopamine agonist. (NB. Cabergoline is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Cabergoline works by mimicking the activity of a substance in the brain called dopamine.
- Cabergoline is mainly used to treat disorders that result from high levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood.
Not to be used in
- Children and adolescents under 16 years of age.
- Allergy to other ergot alkaloid derived medicines, eg pergolide, bromocriptine, lisuride, ergotamine, ergometrine.
- Decreased liver function.
- Women with high blood pressure, tissue swelling (eg swollen ankles, face or hands) and protein in the urine during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia).
- History of depression or psychosis following childbirth.
- Long-term treatment in people who have scar tissue (fibrotic reactions) affecting their heart.
- This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine should not be used during pregnancy because its safety has not been fully established. You should use a non-hormonal method of contraception (a barrier method, eg condoms) to prevent pregnancy all the time you are taking this medicine. If you do get pregnant during treatment you should stop taking this medicine and consult your doctor. If you want to try for a baby you should wait for one month after you have stopped taking this medicine. (Ovulatory cycles have been shown to continue for six months after you stop taking the medicine.) Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
- This medicine should not be used by mothers who wish to breastfeed because it suppresses the production of breast milk. If you are taking this medicine to suppress milk production and it doesn't work, you should still not breastfeed, because it is not known if the medicine passes into breast milk. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
- Take this medication with or after food.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Heart valve disorders, such as inflammation (pericarditis) or leaking of fluid into the sac surrounding the heart (pericardial effusion). Early symptoms of this may include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, pounding heart, feeling faint, chest pain, back pain, pelvic pain or swollen legs. As these may be the first signs of a condition called fibrosis, which can affect the lungs, heart/heart valves or abdomen, you should let your doctor know straight away if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Breast pain.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia).
- Abdominal pain.
- Inflammation of the stomach (gastritis).
- Low blood pressure (hypotension).
- Suddenly falling asleep.
- Skin reactions such as rash or itching.
- Hair loss.
- Muscle weakness.
- Hot flushes.
- Temporary partial loss of vision.
- Pins and needles sensations.
- Cold hands and feet.
- Leg cramps.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
This medicine is not recommended for use in combination with other ergot alkaloid derivatives, such as pergolide, bromocriptine, lisuride, ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, methysergide or ergometrine.
There may be an increased risk of a drop in blood pressure that makes you feel dizzy if this medicine is taken in combination with other medicines that can lower blood pressure, for example medicines to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensives). Tell your doctor if you feel dizzy after starting treatment with this medicine, as your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your blood pressure medicine.
This medicine should not normally be taken in combination with the following medicines, as these work by decreasing the activity of dopamine in the brain and so may oppose the effect of cabergoline:
- antipsychotic medicines, eg chlorpromazine, haloperidol
- Macrolide-type antibiotics such as erythromycin may possibly increase the concentration of cabergoline in the blood, which may increase the risk of its side effects. However, small amounts of erythromycin applied to the skin can be used safely.