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Cabergoline Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to cabergoline: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by cabergoline. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking cabergoline:

Less common
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • rapid weight gain
  • swelling around the eyes
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • continuing loss of appetite
  • continuing or severe abdominal or stomach pain
  • continuing or severe nausea and vomiting
  • cough
  • decreased ability to exercise
  • fever
  • increased frequency of urination
  • loss of appetite
  • lower abdominal or stomach pain
  • lower back pain
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • trouble with breathing
  • vomiting
  • weakness

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking cabergoline, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Fainting
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • stuffy nose

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with cabergoline may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • dizziness
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • headache
  • lack or loss of strength
  • passing gas
Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • acid or sour stomach
  • anxiety
  • belching
  • blemishes on the skin
  • breast pain
  • burning, itching, or stinging of the skin
  • changes in vision
  • cramps
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with moving
  • dry mouth or toothache
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling of warmth
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • heavy bleeding
  • indigestion
  • itching skin
  • joint pain
  • muscle aches and pains
  • muscle stiffness
  • pimples
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • runny nose
  • sensation of spinning
  • shivering
  • sleeplessness
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stomach discomfort or upset
  • sudden sweating
  • trouble with sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • weight loss
  • Bloody nose
  • difficulty in concentrating
  • increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increased interest in sexual intercourse
Incidence not known
  • Attack, assault, or force
  • feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
  • feeling that others can hear your thoughts
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • pathological gambling
  • severe mood or mental changes
  • unusual behavior

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to cabergoline: oral tablet


Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea (10% to 31%), constipation (7% to 10%), abdominal pain (5% to 7%), dyspepsia (2% to 5%), vomiting (2% to 4%), dry mouth (2%), diarrhea (2%), and flatulence (2%), throat irritation (1%), and toothache (1%) have been reported.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system effects including headache (13% to 30%), dizziness (13% to 25%), postural hypotension (4%), vertigo (1% to 4%), and paresthesia (1% to 2%) have been reported.[Ref]


Other side effects including fatigue (5% to 13%), asthenia (4% to 9%), somnolence (5%), hot flashes (1% to 3%), syncope (1%), influenza-like symptoms (1%), malaise (1%), periorbital edema (1%), and facial edema (less than 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects including somnolence (2% to 5%), depression (3%), nervousness (1% to 2%), anorexia (1%), anxiety (1%), insomnia (1%), and impaired concentration (1%) have been reported.

Psychiatric side effects reported during postmarketing surveillance have included aggression and psychotic disorder.[Ref]


Cardiovascular effects including hypotension (1%), dependent edema (1%), palpitation (1%), and syncope (less than 1%) have been reported. Valvulopathy has been reported following long-term administration of cabergoline. A case of mitral valve regurgitation has also been reported.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects including breast pain (1% to 4%), dysmenorrhea (1%) and increased libido (less than 1%) have been reported. A case of recurrent penile erections had also been reported.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects including pain (2%) and arthralgia (1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects including acne (1%), pruritus (1%), and alopecia have been reported. A case of erythema nodosum has been reported. A case of scalp irritation has also been reported which, (along with facial edema) lead to discontinuation of therapy.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects including rhinitis (1%), nasal stuffiness (less than 1%), and epistaxis (less than 1%) have been reported. Pleural effusion and pulmonary fibrosis have been reported following long-term administration of cabergoline. A case of progressive pleuropulmonary abnormalities and systemic illness possibly caused by cabergoline has been reported.[Ref]


Ocular side effects including abnormal vision (1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects including both weight loss (less than 1%) and weight gain (less than 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Oncologic side effects have been reported in animal studies which showed a slight increase in the incidence of both cervical and uterine leiomyomas as well as uterine leiomyosarcomas in mice. Studies also showed a slight increase in malignant tumors of the cervix and uterus and interstitial cell adenomas in rats.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included recurrence of hyperprolactinemia following withdrawal of long-term cabergoline therapy.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Dostinex (cabergoline)." Pharmacia and Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI.

2. "Multum Information Services, Inc. Expert Review Panel"

3. Webster J, Piscitelli G, Polli A, D'Alberton A, Falsetti L, Ferrari C, Fioretti P, Giordano G, L'Hermite M, Ciccarelli E, et al "Dose-dependent suppression of serum prolactin by cabergoline in hyperprolactinaemia: a placebo controlled, double blind, multicentre study. European Multicentre Cabergoline Dose-finding Study Group." Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 37 (1992): 534-41

4. Webster J, Piscitelli G, Polli A, Ferrari CI, Ismail I, Scanlon MF "A comparison of cabergoline and bromocriptine in the treatment of hyperprolactinemic amenorrhea." N Engl J Med 331 (1994): 904-9

5. Webster J, Piscitelli G, Polli A, D'Alberton A, Falsetti L, Ferrari C, Fioretti P, Giordano G, L'Hermite M, Ciccarelli E, et al "The efficacy and tolerability of long-term cabergoline therapy in hyperprolactinaemic disorders: an open, uncontrolled, multicentre study. European Multicentre Cabergoline Study Group." Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 39 (1993): 323-9

6. Delgrange E "Cabergoline and mitral regurgitation." N Engl J Med 354 (2006): 420; author reply 420

7. Wittstock M, Benecke R, Dressler D "Cabergoline can increase penile erections and libido." Neurology 58 (2002): 831

8. Kaushik P, Soule MR, Ellison WA, Ahmed B, Kaushik R "Cabergoline-associated erythema nodosum." Ann Pharmacother 42 (2008): 284-7

9. Frans E, Dom R, Demedts M "Pleuropulmonary changes during treatment of Parkinson's disease with a long-acting ergot derivative, cabergoline." Eur Respir J 5 (1992): 263-5

10. Kharlip J, Salvatori R, Yenokyan G, Wand GS "Recurrence of hyperprolactinemia following withdrawal of long-term cabergoline therapy." J Clin Endocrinol Metab 94 (2009): 2428-36

Not all side effects for cabergoline may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.