Pituitary Adenomas


  • A pituitary adenoma is a tumor (lump) in your pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is an almond-shaped organ in your brain that makes and secretes (releases) hormones. Hormones are special chemicals that flow through your blood to control functions of your organs and tissues. The tumor can cause your pituitary gland to make too much hormone such as prolactin, or growth hormone. A pituitary adenoma may change your body functions by secreting too much hormone or by damaging nearby tissues. Increased amounts of hormones in your body can also change your appearance and mood. You may have an increased risk for medical problems and trouble having babies or getting your partner pregnant. If your tumor grows very big, you may have headaches and problems seeing.

  • Blood and urine tests, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be done to diagnose your tumor. You may need to have your tumor removed through surgery. Hormones or medicines may be given to make your hormone levels normal. Radiation therapy may also be used with or without surgery. Having your pituitary adenoma treated early may prevent more damage to your brain tissue and relieve your symptoms.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Medicines: Certain medicines may be used to decrease the amount of hormone your tumor is making. Medicines such as antithyroid medicines and dopamine agonists can decrease the amount of specific hormones in your body. Your caregiver may also give you hormone medicines after your treatment. You may have to take these hormones to correct the sudden changes in your blood levels. Having the right amount of each hormone in your body may help it work better.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Where can I find support and more information?

Being diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma can be life changing for you and your family. Talk to your caregiver, family, or friends about your feelings. Contact any of the following for more information:

  • Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service
    National Institutes of Health
    6 Information Way
    Bethesda , MD 20892-3569
    Phone: 1- 888 - 828-0904
    Web Address: http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda , MD 20824
    Phone: 1- 301 - 496-5751
    Phone: 1- 800 - 352-9424
    Web Address: http://www.ninds.nih.gov


  • You feel nervous, or you have sudden changes in your mood.

  • You get tired very easily.

  • You see changes in how you look, such as more facial hair or bone growth in your face.

  • Your menstrual period stops or becomes irregular.

  • You have questions about your treatment, condition, and care.


  • You feel dizzy or confused.

  • You have a very bad headache and a stiff, painful neck.

  • You have suddenly gained or lost of weight without trying.

  • You suddenly feel your heart is beating faster and stronger than normal.

  • You suddenly have trouble seeing, or have trouble moving your eyes from side to side.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Pituitary Adenomas (Discharge Care)