A randomized cross-over study comparing cabergoline and quinagolide in the treatment of hyperprolactinemic patients

J Endocrinol Invest. 2000 Jul-Aug;23(7):428-34. doi: 10.1007/BF03343751.


Quinagolide (QUI) and cabergoline (CAB) are dopamine agonists recently introduced for the treatment of hyperprolactinemia. In the present study, these drugs have been compared in terms of effectiveness and tolerability. Twenty patients (18 females and 2 males) with hyperprolactinemia (8 with microprolactinomas, 6 with idiopathic hyperprolactinemia and 6 with empty sella turcica syndrome) were treated with oral QUI (75 microg once daily) and CAB (0,5 mg twice weekly), in a randomized cross-over trial with placebo between both drugs. Each drug was administered for 12 weeks, separated by other 12 weeks with placebo. PRL levels decreased with both drugs at 2 or 4 weeks of starting the treatment, without differences between both drugs at weeks 4, 8 and 12. At week 12, normal PRL levels (<20 ng/ml) were attained in 90% patients with CAB and only in 75% patients with QUI (p<0.05). After discontinuation of treatment, significant increase in serum PRL was higher after QUI withdrawal than after CAB. Clinical efficacy of both treatments was similar in terms of improvement amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, galactorrhea, and impotence. All patients completed both cycles of treatment, and the most frequent side-effects were nausea, headache and dizziness, without significant differences between CAB (30%) and QUI (55%). Our study indicates that, at the doses employed here, CAB showed a high percentage of patients with normal PRL at the end of treatment and long-lasting efficacy in the levels of PRL. Clinical response and side-effects were similar in both drugs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aminoquinolines / adverse effects
  • Aminoquinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Cabergoline
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Ergolines / adverse effects
  • Ergolines / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperprolactinemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / blood
  • Placebos
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Prolactinoma / blood
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aminoquinolines
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Ergolines
  • Placebos
  • quinagolide
  • Prolactin
  • Cabergoline