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Cabergoline

Cabergoline

Cabergoline is a medication used to treat hyperprolactinemia, a condition characterized by high levels of prolactin hormone in the body. Abnormally high levels of prolactin can cause unpleasant symptoms such as infertility, abnormal lactation (gallactoria), infrequent or irregular periods, reduced libido, disappearance of ovulation periods, breast pain, and painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness. In men, high prolactin levels can cause erectile dysfunction, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), infertility, and low libido. Aside from hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder that affects movement, balance, and muscle control. Cabergoline is usually taken by mouth and the dosage is adjusted based on a patient’s medical condition and prolactin levels.

Overall Health Benefits of Cabergoline

  • Improves Cognitive Function [1-6]
  • Fights Cancer [7-29]
  • Wards Off Depression [30-34]
  • Treats Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) [35-43]
  • Improves Sexual Function and Fertility [44-52]
  • Improves Cholesterol Levels [53-56]
  • Improves Blood Sugar Levels [57-63]
  • Treats Alcohol Addiction [64]
  • Promotes Weight Loss [29] [56] [65]

How Cabergoline Works

Cabergoline works by mimicking the activity of a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) known as dopamine. This in turn inhibits the production of prolactin from the pituitary gland.

Proven Benefits of Cabergoline

Improves Cognitive Function

Studies show that the ability of cabergoline to mimic the activity of dopamine produces beneficial effects on various cognitive parameters:

  1. In patients with hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline treatment led to a significant improvement in the speed of processing, working memory, visual learning and reasoning, and problem-solving skills. [1]
  2. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, combination of cabergoline and other dopamine-enhancing drugs slowed the onset of cognitive impairment. [2]
  3. In healthy participants, low doses of cabergoline improved working memory and attentional domains. [3]
  4. In patients with invasive brain tumor, cabergoline administration at a dose of 250 μg weekly successfully restored severely impaired cognitive functions. [4]
  5. In healthy human subjects, cabergoline administration reduced excessive risk-taking behaviors. [5]
  6. In participants who took low-dose cabergoline, a significant improvement in visuospatial working memory was observed. [6]

Fights Cancer

There’s also a good deal of evidence supporting the anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties of cabergoline:

  1. In patients with metastatic breast cancer, oral cabergoline administration at 1 mg twice weekly improved survival rate. [7]
  2. Cabergoline administration at 0.5 mg once per week in cancer patients enhanced the efficacy of the classical endocrine therapy for advanced breast cancer. [8-9]
  3. In patients with pituitary tumors, cabergoline administration was associated with tumor shrinkage. [10-12]
  4. In patients with macroprolactinoma, a benign, noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland, long-term and low-dose treatment with cabergoline resulted in tumor volume reduction greater than 80%. [13]
  5. Studies revealed that cabergoline may be toxic to various types of cancer such as breast, lung, gastric, ovarian, liver, and esophageal cancer, as well as pituitary tumors. [14-19]
  6. In rat pituitary tumor cell lines, cabergoline treatment enhanced suppression of cell proliferation. [20]
  7. Cabergoline also reduced rat pituitary tumor size by suppressing signaling pathways and inducing cell death. [21]
  8. In patients with prolactinomas, which are the most common pituitary tumor, cabergoline treatment at a dose of 0.25 mg twice weekly reduced tumor size. [22-29]

Wards Off Depression

Evidence suggests that cabergoline has antidepressant effect. Studies show that this may be attributed to its ability to mimic dopamine activity and reduce prolactin levels:

  1. In patients with depression who failed to attain complete remission, cabergoline treatment resulted in dramatic improvement in energy levels and fatigue. [30]
  2. In patients with major depressive disorder induced by hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline treatment led to complete absence of depressive symptoms. [31]
  3. Addition of cabergoline in the treatment regimen of patients with depression augmented the effect of antidepressants. [32]
  4. In depressed patients, cabergoline treatment for 8 weeks improved Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). [33]
  5. In rats, cabergoline administration produced anti-depressant effect as evidenced by decreased immobility time in the forced swimming test. [34]

Treats Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is caused by numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) in the ovaries, resulting in failure to release eggs, abnormal menstrual periods, and excess androgen (male hormone) levels. Studies also show that cabergoline may help treat PCOS by improving ovarian function:

  1. In hyperprolactinemic patients with PCOS, cabergoline administration was associated with better clinical control of ovarian response. [35]
  2. In PCOS patients with hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline administration safely and effectively improved the menstrual cycles. [36]
  3. Cabergoline administration also increased uterine blood perfusion and regulated menstrual cycle in PCOS patients. [37-39]
  4. In patients with both PCOS and hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline administration induced ovulation. [40-41]
  5. Chronic administration of cabergoline in women with PCOS normalized androgen secretion and improved menstrual cycles. [42]
  6. A study found that cabergoline is more effective and better tolerated than bromocriptine (dopamine-boosting drug) in treating women with hyperprolactinemic amenorrhea associated with PCOS. [43]

Improves Sexual Function and Fertility

Studies also show that cabergoline can help restore sexual function and improve fertility in men and women with higher prolactin levels:

  1. In young hyperprolactinemic men and women, cabergoline improved sexual desire in both genders, improved erectile and orgasmic function in men, and improved sexual arousal in women. [44]
  2. In men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction, cabergoline improved sexual desire, orgasmic function, and sexual satisfaction. [45]
  3. In hyperprolactinemic males, cabergoline restored sexual potency by normalizing testosterone levels. [46]
  4. In men with orgasmic disorder, cabergoline treatment was associated with subjective improvement in orgasm. [47]
  5. In men with erectile dysfunction who did not respond to sildenafil (viagra), cabergoline treatment improved scores on International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IVELT). [48]
  6. In women with hyperprolactinemia, cabergoline achieved a high pregnancy rate. [49]
  7. In hyperprolactinemic males, cabergoline administration increased penile erections and improved seminal fluid parameters. [50]
  8. In women with severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (swelling of the ovaries), cabergoline treatment improved fertility by decreasing ovarian volume. [51-52]

Improves Cholesterol Levels

There’s also increasing evidence supporting the beneficial effects of cabergoline on cholesterol profile:

  1. In patients with hyperprolactinemia, normalization of elevated prolactin levels by cabergoline treatment was accompanied by significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. [53]
  2. Six months of cabergoline treatment in patients with elevated prolactin levels was also associated with significant reduction in total cholesterol levels. [54]
  3. Cabergoline treatment reduced triglycerides and increased high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) in patients with elevated prolactin levels. [55]
  4. Higher doses (greater than 0.50 mg per week) of cabergoline significantly increased HDL and reduced LDL. [56]

Improves Blood Sugar Levels

According to studies, cabergoline has direct beneficial effects on blood sugar levels and in diabetic patients:

  1. In type 2 diabetic patients who do not respond to anti-diabetic medications, cabergoline treatment reduced fasting and postprandial plasma glucose levels as well as glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). [57]
  2. Three months of cabergoline treatment also decreased HbA1C in type 2 diabetic patients. [58]
  3. Six months of cabergoline treatment among patients with high prolactin levels resulted in significant reduction in plasma glucose. [59]
  4. In patients with benign noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland, cabergoline administration for 6 months caused an improvement in insulin sensitivity and inflammatory markers. [60]
  5. In patients with prediabetes, cabergoline administration at a dose of 0.25 mg twice weekly for two weeks improved glucose metabolism. [61]
  6. In patients with hyperprolactinemia, normalization of elevated prolactin levels by cabergoline treatment was accompanied by reduction in plasma glucose levels. [62]
  7. In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and prolactinoma, cabergoline treatment improved blood sugar control. [63]

Treats Alcohol Addiction

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry found that cabergoline can decrease alcohol-drinking and -seeking behaviors of mice by increasing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). [51] This study suggests that cabergoline can be a therapeutic option for alcohol abuse and addiction. [64]

Promotes Weight Loss

Evidence also suggests that cabergoline can help improve body composition through its fat-burning properties:

  1. In patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) who has high prolactin levels, supplementation with cabergoline at a dose of 0.5 g tablet weekly for 3 months significantly decreased body mass index (BMI). [65]
  2. In patients with prolactinoma, higher doses of cabergoline decreased waist circumference. [56]
  3. In patients with prolactinomas, cabergoline treatment reduced the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk associated with visceral obesity. [29]

References:

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