Dostinex (generic name: cabergoline) is manufactured by Pfizer. In December 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved Dostinex to treat a hormone and blood disorder known as hyperprolactinemia. Dostinex is a popular drug in the United States. In 2005, doctors wrote 87,000 Dostinex prescriptions and Dostinex sales totaled nearly $88 million.

Dostinex Approved Uses

In the United States, the FDA only approved Dostinex to treat hyperprolactinemia. In Europe, however, Dostinex is approved and widely prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, Dostinex use by patients with Parkinson’s may cause serious and even fatal heart valve damage. Therefore, the FDA did not approve Dostinex to treat Parkinson’s disease.

What is Hyperprolactinemia?

Hyperprolactinemia is a condition of having excess prolactin in the blood. Prolactin is a protein produced in the anterior pituitary gland. Prolactin increases production of breast milk and also binds and reduces various receptors including dopamine. Prolactin levels increase with sleep, stress, pregnancy, and chest trauma.

Hyperprolactinemia occurs in less than one percent of the population. About 75% of patients with galactorrhea (spontaneous flow of breast milk) and amenorrhea (absence of woman’s menstrual cycle) have hyperprolactinemia. Approximately 30% of these patients develop prolactin-secretion tumors. Hyperprolactinemia is typically non-fatal but large prolactin-secretion tumors can lead to death.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that affects a person’s movement. A normal brain contains nerve cells that produce the chemical dopamine. The dopamine transmits signals within the brain to create smooth muscle movements. In Parkinson patients’ brains, the dopamine producing nerve cells are damaged or dead, limiting a patients’ movement. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include:

  • tremors (shaking in arms, hands, legs, jaw, and face)
  • rigidity (limbs and trunk stiffness)
  • bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
  • postural instability (impaired balance and coordination)

Approximately 6.3 million people have Parkinson’s disease, including over a million Americans. 

Dostinex Side Effects

Dostinex side effects include:

Injured by Dostinex?

If you or a loved one has been injured by Dostinex, or if you would like more information about Dostinex or its side effects, please contact us today. 

Published November 17, 2011 by