Dopamine Agonists
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Medications and Anesthesia Dopamine Agonists

Dopamine Agonists

Dopamine is known to suppress lactation and dopamine agonist drugs also have this effect. Although they are primarily used for Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome some of them have been used for lactation suppression, either postpartum or in women with prolactin-secreting tumors. The indication for bromocriptine of lactation suppression has been withdrawn in the U.S. and discouraged in other countries because it increases the risk of maternal stroke, seizures, cardiovascular disorders, death and possibly psychosis. Cabergoline, a non-ergot drug, has been used as an alternative for lactation suppression in women with HIV infection and to assist in weaning. It appears to be safer than bromocriptine, although safety data are not extensive. Bromocriptine and cabergoline have also been used in low doses during nursing to decrease overproduction of milk, and for amenorrhea-galactorrhea syndrome or prolactinoma during lactation. Other dopamine agonists include apomorphine, lisuride, pramipexole, ropinirole, and rotigotine. These drugs have not been well studied in lactation. Except in unusual circumstances outlined above, dopamine agonists should generally be avoided in mothers who wish to continue nursing.

References

  1. Anderson PO. Drugs that suppress lactation, part 1. Breastfeed Med 2017;12:128-30. PMID: 28394656
  2. Anderson PO. Drugs that suppress lactation, part 2. Breastfeed Med 2017;12:199-201. PMID: 28338339
  3. Yang Y, Boucoiran I, Tulloch KJ, et al. Is cabergoline safe and effective for postpartum lactation inhibition? A systematic review. Int J Womens Health 2020;12:159-70. PMID: 32210637