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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.

Major Side Effects

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

Minor Side Effects

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


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 29%)
Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, dyspepsia, gastritis, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, dry mouth, diarrhea, flatulence, throat irritation, toothache[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 26%), dizziness (up to 17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness/vertigo, dyskinesia, paresthesia, somnolence
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hyperkinesia
Frequency not reported: Sudden sleep onset, syncope, tremor[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Fatigue, malaise[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hallucinations sleep disturbance, increased libido, confusion, depression, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Delusions, psychotic disorder
Frequency not reported: Aggression, hypersexuality, pathological gambling[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Peripheral edema
Common (1% to 10%): Angina (with concomitant levodopa use), postural hypotension, hot flashes, cardiac valvulopathy, hypotension, dependent edema, palpitation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Erythromelalgia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Syncope, heart failure
Frequency not reported: Constrictive pericarditis, digital vasospasm
Postmarketing reports: Cardiac valvulopathy, pericarditis, pericardial effusion[Ref]

Reports of cardiac valvulopathy have generally been received in patients on higher doses (greater than 2 mg/day); however, there have been cases in patients receiving lower doses for the treatment of hyperprolactinemic disorders. In a multi-country, retrospective cohort study, record review looking for an association between the new use of dopamine agonists (including this drug; n=27,812) and cardiac valvular regurgitation (CVR), other fibrosis, and other cardiopulmonary events found an increased risk of CVR among patients with Parkinson's disease when compared to non-ergot derived dopamine agonists and levodopa. Analysis in patients with hyperprolactinemia treated with this drug (n=8386) found that compared to non-users, exposed persons did not have an elevated risk of CVR. These findings are consistent with other published studies.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Leg cramps[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash, acne, pruritus
Frequency not reported: Alopecia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dyspnea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pleural effusion, pulmonary fibrosis, rhinitis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Fibrosis (including pleural fibrosis)
Frequency not reported: Respiratory disorder, respiratory failure, pleuritic, chest pain[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Periorbital edema, abnormal vision[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Breast pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysmenorrhea[Ref]


Adverse effects are generally dose related. At lower doses, the more commonly reported adverse reactions included nausea, headache, dizziness/vertigo, abdominal pain/dyspepsia/gastritis, asthenia/fatigue; at higher doses, additional events of valvulopathy, dyspnea, dyskinesia, orthostatic hypotension, hallucination, and constipation have been commonly reported.[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hepatic function abnormalities
Postmarketing reports: Liver function test abnormal[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity reaction[Ref]


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

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

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

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.