, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 205–210 | Cite as

Treating prolactinomas with dopamine agonists: always worth the gamble?

  • Sean Noronha
  • Victoria StokesEmail author
  • Niki Karavitaki
  • Ashley Grossman


Dopamine agonists are the treatment of choice for all patients with prolactinomas. They are generally safe, effective, and well-tolerated. However, a link between their use and the development of impulse control disorders has been well recognized in the field of neurology for some time, and evidence for a similar effect in endocrine patients is emerging. This has mainly been revealed through clinical case reports, plus a small number of comparative studies of varying robustness. We review the current available literature and discuss the implications for clinical practice, in particular emphasizing the need for clinicians to be alert to these uncommon but serious adverse effects.


Bromocriptine Cabergoline Impulse control Gambling Hypersexuality 



The authors are indebted to Elinor Harriss for her assistance with the literature search.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Noronha
    • 1
  • Victoria Stokes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Niki Karavitaki
    • 1
  • Ashley Grossman
    • 1
  1. 1.Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and MetabolismUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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