Reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Wondering about cabergoline for men’s sexual health? Here’s everything you need to know.
Hormones are important for our daily function. As men, we depend on them to keep us hard, muscular, fertile, awake and hungry — so when something goes wrong, it can create lots of problems.
Out-of-wack hormones can screw with your health, your mental state, your erections and even your hair.
If one of your hormones — prolactin — is currently on the fritz, you may have heard about cabergoline and how it can restore normal function and balance your hormones so they’re back to normal again.
Some believe it might be helpful even if prolactin isn’t your problem.
We’ll sort rumors from facts below, then explain how cabergoline is used and how it can help your sexual health. We’ll also cover cabergoline side effects and dosage guidelines you should know to stay safe if you choose to use this medication.
Read on to get informed.
Cabergoline is primarily used to treat disorders related to high levels of the hormone prolactin, which is produced by the pituitary gland.
In women, prolactin is the hormone that regulates milk production. High prolactin levels can lead to a bunch of issues like infertility, sexual problems and bone loss, as well as breast pain and breast tenderness.
In men, high levels of prolactin can result in a number of sexual problems, including:
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Cabergoline is a dopamine agonist. It works to reduce the amount of prolactin in the body by telling dopamine receptors to cut back, which can help to improve these symptoms. It’s also sometimes used to treat Parkinson's disease.
Several studies suggest that cabergoline can treat erectile dysfunction for some men, though the circumstances in which it’s considered effective vary.
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that makes it difficult to get or maintain an erection, and there are many potential causes of ED, both physiological and mental.
Results from a 2007 study of 50 men and one case report from 2015 show that cabergoline can significantly improve orgasmic function in men dealing with psychological or psychogenic ED and ED in general — though the research essentially ends with these two studies.
The internet makes numerous references to a clinical study involving cabergoline and tadalafil that suggested the combination could benefit men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction (ED based on things like low self-esteem and performance anxiety). However, we’ve been unable to find a record of the actual study to verify this claim.
Cabergoline has also been linked to the effective treatment of delayed orgasm — a condition sometimes called orgasmic disorder, anorgasmia or delayed ejaculation.
A 2016 analysis of 131 men treated with cabergoline saw marked improvements in their ability to orgasm. Interestingly, the results weren’t affected by the age or disorder of the patients.
Delayed orgasm and erectile dysfunction are just two problems related to sexual health. It’s fair to wonder whether cabergoline’s benefits might extend beyond those cases into broader questions of sexual health.
There’s not a lot of evidence testing cabergoline for sexual health beyond prolactin-related conditions, but there are some anecdotal pieces of evidence worth noting:
A study from 2016 investigated the use of cabergoline for treating erectile dysfunction in men with Parkinson's disease. It found that participants experienced significant improvements in erectile function, as well as other measures of sexual function and quality of life.
More research is needed to determine whether these benefits can extend to men with conditions not related to prolactin levels. But at least for the time being, it seems like this medication may have more to offer than just the management of serum testosterone levels.
Like all medications, cabergoline can cause side effects. It's important to be aware of these before starting treatment with cabergoline. To prevent unnecessary adverse effects, cabergoline should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider who can address any underlying causes of high prolactin levels.
That said, if you’re prescribed this medication, your first concern will be watching out for side effects.
Some of the most common cabergoline side effects include:
Dizziness and lightheadedness
Changes in blood pressure
It’s also crucial to talk to your healthcare provider about any medications for (or existing conditions involving) your blood pressure or mental health, as cabergoline can lower your blood pressure and cause psychiatric symptoms of depression and anxiety. The same goes for heart valve disease and previous cardiovascular issues.
Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience severe side effects like:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Swelling in your legs
In short, be vigilant and don’t be afraid to ask about any changes.
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Cabergoline is typically taken orally in tablet form. The exact dosage and duration of therapy will depend on the specific condition being treated and other individual factors — your age and health may affect your dosage.
Typically, the starting dose of cabergoline for men is 0.25 milligrams (mg), which will be taken twice a week for orgasmic dysfunction. Your healthcare provider will adjust your doses of cabergoline based on how effective it is for you and the side effects you experience.
The range varies depending on conditions. For instance, when treating Parkinson's disease, the starting dose is typically 0.5 milligrams daily but may go as high as 11.5 milligrams as needed.
Just because the top of the range is that high doesn’t mean you should feel comfortable altering your dose without oversight. Never exceed the recommended dosage prescribed by your healthcare provider, and only take the medication as prescribed.
You should also continue taking cabergoline for as long as your healthcare provider instructs — even if your symptoms improve. Why? Stopping the medication abruptly can lead to a rebound increase in prolactin levels and worsened symptoms.
If you’re struggling with prolactin imbalances, cabergoline may have already been on your radar. We’re confident in saying you should see benefits from the safe use of cabergoline under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Beyond that, the evidence is promising but sparse. Consider the following takeaways if you’re interested in discussing cabergoline treatment with your doctor:
Cabergoline treatment may increase orgasmic function, boost sexual desire and treat medical conditions like testosterone deficiency in men.
Certain types of sexual dysfunction may also see benefits from cabergoline.
This medication could cause serious heart and health problems if taken without supervision or not as directed, so follow the instructions.
If you’re suffering from ED, you may have better options at your disposal, like FDA-approved sildenafil, tadalafil and other ED treatments.
We offer some of these treatments through our online health support systems. Our hard mint chewable ED meds and premature ejaculation treatments can help with problems beyond what cabergoline is designed for.
If you’re ready to get help for sexual health issues, talk to us today.