Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elevated Prolactin Overview

Another name for Elevated Prolactin is Hyperprolactinemia.

What is hyperprolactinemia?
A person with hyperprolactinemia has an elevated level of prolactin in the bloodstream. Prolactin is a female hormone that stimulates the breasts to produce milk. Prolactin is produced by the anterior pituitary gland. The most common causes of hyperprolactinemia include excessive exercise, chest injury, kidney failure, cirrhosis, and a medication side effect.

What are the symptoms of hyperprolactinemia?
Symptoms of hyperprolactinemia include a milky nipple discharge, headache, vision loss, and symptoms of osteoporosis. Additional symptoms in women include absent menstrual periods and infertility. Symptoms in males include impotence.

How does the doctor treat hyperprolactinemia?
Treatment for hyperprolactinemia depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for hyperprolactinemia may include medications, such as bromocriptine and cabergoline. Hyperprolactinemia may be caused by a non-cancerous tumor of the pituitary gland. Treatment for the pituitary tumor may include radiation therapy and surgery to remove the tumor that is producing prolactin.

Continue to Elevated Prolactin Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elevated Prolactin References
  1. Serri O, Chik CL, Ur E, Ezzat S. Diagnosis and management of hyperprolactinemia. CMAJ. 2003 Sep 16;169(6):575-81. [12975226]
  2. Verhelst J, Abs R. Hyperprolactinemia: pathophysiology and management. Treat Endocrinol. 2003;2(1):23-32. [15871552]
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