How is a prolactinoma treated?
Prolactinomas are usually initially treated with medications. Surgery is considered if the medications cannot be tolerated, or if they are not effective. The medical treatment may be only partially successful. In such cases, the medications may be combined with surgery or radiation therapy. What medications are used to treat prolactinomas? Because dopamine is the chemical in the brain that normally inhibits prolactin secretion, doctors may treat prolactinomas with drugs that act like dopamine such as bromocriptine (Parlodel) or cabergoline (Dostinex). Both bromocriptine (Parlodel) and cabergoline (Dostinex) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hyperprolactinemia (high blood prolactin levels). Bromocriptine (Parlodel) is also approved for the treatment of infertility. Treatment with these drugs is successful in shrinking the tumor and returning prolactin levels to normal in approximately 80% of cases, or four out of every five patients.