Medications, surgery, and radiation therapy are some of the treatment options used for prolactinoma. Bromocriptine and cabergoline are two of the drugs most commonly used for this condition. Surgery may be used to remove the pituitary tumor if drug therapy is not successful. Sometimes, radiation therapy is used in conjunction with other forms of treatment if drug therapy alone is not producing the desired results.
The goals of prolactinoma treatment are to:
- Return prolactin secretion to normal
- Reduce tumor size
- Correct any vision problems
- Restore normal pituitary function.
In the case of very large tumors, only partial achievement of these goals may be possible.
Treatment options for prolactinoma can include:
- Radiation therapy.
Because dopamine is the chemical that normally inhibits prolactin secretion, doctors may treat prolactinoma with bromocriptine or cabergoline, which are drugs that act like dopamine. This type of drug is called a dopamine agonist. These drugs shrink the tumor and return prolactin levels to normal in approximately 80 percent of patients.
Both medicines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for this condition. Bromocriptine is the only dopamine agonist approved for the treatment of infertility, which is one of the common prolactinoma symptoms. Another dopamine agonist, pergolide, is available in the United States, but it is not approved for the treatment of prolactinoma.