Dostinex is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.  Dostinex is the brand name for cabergoline. It belongs to dopamine receptor antagonists group of drugs. It is used for treatment of hormone imbalance, when this condition creates too much prolactin in blood. The prolactin hormone is released from pituitary gland. Dostinex reduces the amount of prolactin hormone in the blood.  It is often used for management of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Although Dostinex is prescribed for Parkinson’s disease in Europe, in the United States it is only approved for treatment of a hormone condition and blood disorder known as hyperprolactinemia.

High level of prolactin in women can cause many problems such as unwanted breast milk and missed periods. It also makes it difficult to get pregnant. It can even cause problems in men if there is a high level of prolactin in the blood. It can cause enlargement of breasts and decreased libido. Cabergoline blocks the release of prolactin and thus reduces the level of prolactin in blood.

Common Side Effects of Dostinex

The most common side effects of Dostinex are-

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Numbness or tingly feeling
  • Nervousness
  • Hot Flashes

Though they are very common and not so risky side effects, if these conditions worsen you should immediately consult a doctor.

Serious side effects of Dostinex

Some people can develop allergic reactions such as-

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Swelling of ankles or feet
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Mental or mood changes such as nervousness, compulsive behavior including urge to gamble
  • Vision changes
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Breast pain
  • Feeling as you will faint

If any of these conditions persist seek urgent medical help, these reactions could be dangerous. You may also develop allergic reactions such as rash, itching, swelling of lip, tongue, and face or breathing trouble. In that case it is advisable to call your doctor.

One of the severe Dostinex side effects is that it could lead to heart valve damage. It increases the risk of heart valve disease causing difficulty in the heart’s functioning. Heart valve failure can cause backwards flow of blood. This backflow of blood is known as valve regurgitation. This forces heart to work additionally and could result in serious heart injury or death.

Many studies published in January 2007 have linked Dostinex and other cabergoline drugs with many risks if they are given for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.  One study in the UK showed that nearly 20% of those taking cabergoline suffered damage to the heart valve. This ratio is 5 to 7 times higher than the rate of those who did not take the drug.  A similar study in Italy revealed that around 29% patients taking this drug suffered heart valve damage. The symptoms of heart valve problems may include shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations.

You should not use Dostinex in following conditions-

If you are allergic to cabergoline, then it is advisable to not use Dostinex. Other medical conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, pregnancy-related high blood pressure or allergy of ergot medicine are conditions when you should avoid Dostinex.

It is advisable to consult your doctor about allergy to any drugs or if you have any medical condition such as liver disease, heart disease, or a breathing disorder, before taking Dostinex.