Take quinagolide once a day. Take the tablet in the evening after something to eat.
Quinagolide may cause dizziness, particularly when you first start taking it. Let your doctor know if this becomes troublesome.
In rare cases, some people taking quinagolide have fallen asleep suddenly, with little or no warning of feeling tired beforehand. Until you know how you react, take extra care when you drive or operate machinery.
|Type of medicine||Dopamine receptor stimulant|
|Used for||Hyperprolactinaemia (raised levels of prolactin in the blood)|
Quinagolide helps reduce overproduction of a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone which helps a woman to produce milk when she breast-feeds, but it is also involved in controlling the levels of other hormones within our bodies.
If you have hyperprolactinaemia, this means that the level of prolactin in your blood is higher than normal. Hyperprolactinaemia can cause various symptoms, although these differ slightly between men and women. In men it can reduce libido (sex drive) and cause erectile dysfunction, and in women it can cause menstrual cycle and fertility problems. It may also cause milk to leak from the breasts (known as galactorrhoea). Quinagolide is prescribed to help prevent these symptoms.
Before taking quinagolide
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking quinagolide it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have ever had a psychotic disorder (disturbed thinking).
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take quinagolide
- Before you start taking the tablets, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack and any additional information you are given by your doctor. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about quinagolide and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take quinagolide exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is normal to be given a 'starter pack' of tablets to begin with. This will allow your dose to be increased slowly over a few days - side-effects are less likely if you start with a low dose and increase gradually. The 'starter pack' contains three pink (25 micrograms) tablets and three blue (50 micrograms) tablets. Take one pink tablet at bedtime on the first three evenings, and then take one blue tablet at bedtime for the following three evenings. After this, it is usual for the dose to be increased to one 75 micrograms tablet daily. These tablets are whitish in colour.
- Take your doses in the evening after something to eat, such as a biscuit or a snack. You may find it helps to swallow the tablet with a drink of water.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- During your treatment, your doctor will want you to have regular check-ups. Try to keep these regular appointments so that your progress can be monitored.
- Some people may get low blood pressure during the first few days of starting treatment. This can make them feel dizzy or faint. If this happens to you, your blood pressure may need monitoring over the next few days. It is important that you do not drive or use tools or machines unless you feel well.
- Successful treatment with quinagolide often restores fertility quite quickly. If you do not want to become pregnant, you will need to use contraception. Use a barrier method, such as a condom, because hormonal contraception ('the pill') is not suitable. Your doctor, nurse or family planning clinic can give you further advice.
- Quinagolide should not usually be taken during pregnancy, so if you think you may have become pregnant while you are taking quinagolide, see your doctor as soon as possible to get the pregnancy confirmed.
- Occasionally, people taking quinagolide have fallen asleep suddenly, with little or no warning of feeling tired beforehand. Until you know how you react, take extra care when you drive or operate machinery. If you do find yourself falling asleep suddenly, you should see your doctor as soon as possible and avoid driving or using tools and machines in the meantime.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about quinagolide and alcohol. Alcohol can increase the chance that you will experience side-effects and may not be recommended.
- Many people need to take quinagolide on a long-term basis, so you should continue to take the tablets regularly, unless you are told otherwise.
Can quinagolide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with quinagolide. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Very common quinagolide side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling drowsy, dizzy or sleepy||Do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods. This usually soon passes, but if it becomes troublesome, speak with your doctor who can prescribe you something to reduce the sickness|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Common quinagolide side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water each day|
|Lack of appetite, abdominal pain, difficulty sleeping, swollen ankles, flushing, blocked nose||If any become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: speak with your doctor if you notice any changes in your behaviour, such as any strong urges or cravings that are not usual for you. These may include an increased desire to gamble, an increased sex drive, compulsive shopping or binge eating.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store quinagolide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Norprolac® Tablets 25, 50 and 75 micrograms; Ferring Pharmaceuticals Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2012.
- British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Hannah Gronow