Brain/Pituitary Tumors Community
2.19k Members
Avatar universal

Hyperprolactinaemia - depression? Do antidepressants help?

I'm struggling with severe side effects of anti depressant medicin to cure - what I think is a prolactininduced depression. I have been sick since elevated prolactin level was found in 2002. I'm now on antidep. called Mirtazapine - and I'm sleepy all day and is getting more and more depressed. At the moment I'm not on medicin for my prolactinoma (doctors wanted to see if I was ill because of side effects from the meds) - but I have read, that you get more depressed when your prolactinlevel is high. I want to get it down and I want to start with NOrprolac - also called quinagolide. Has anyone experiences with taking meds for prolactinoma together with antidepressant medicin?
Hope you can give me som answers - I'm feeling cought in a trap right now. It's like a bad circle - prolactinoma causes depression - antidepressive medications causes elevated prolactin levels....I don't know what to do...:o(
Lots of greetings
Gitte from Denmark.
12 Responses
Avatar universal
Having been in the situation where I had prolactin induced depression (but mine was a pituitary tumor), the only way mine went away was to treat the prolactin. In my case, I took parlodel. They have parlodel or another medication which has less side effects today.
I would speak to your doctor and do what you can to change medications to get off the one that is causing the prolactin, and I think you will find that you will feel much better.

Of course, my doctors did not want to treat my pituitary tumor (I was told it was an incidentaloma) and instead I was put in anti-depressants. I do not remember however, if I took the medications to dry me up and the anti-depressants at the same time.

In the end, the doctors were wrong. I had two pituitary tumors - one was the prolactinoma and the other Cushing's - both valid reasons for hormonal imbalance and both can cause depression.
Avatar universal
I have a small prolactinoma 0.5 cm. Two times seen on MR's (3 times doctors couldn't see it). I have been on Dostinex for some years, but in august I was so sick at my job I almost fainted. I had headache, heart beat, early wakening, nausea, fatigue etc.. and at that moment I WAS treatet with Dostinex. When I came to the hospital the doctors says that I should try to stop with Dostinex, because they thought it was due to the side effects I was sick (I have been taking Dostinex 1 year at that moment- so I thought it couldn't be the medications). I got an MR - and there wasn't any bleeding in my pituitary...
Something is wrong - thats for sure. I was also very stressed up at work at that moment when I was sick- so it could be stress. I have now been off Dostinex for 3 months now and my prolactinlevel is around 1000. I have become more and more sick, and now I'm on antidepresseants do see if this could help. But I'm convinced, that it was not the right thing for me to stop Dostinex. My Endo. says that he doesn't want me to start Dostinex again - because of the heart valve problems due to long-time treatment.
I have found Norprolac - and he says that it's okay that I begin with it. BUT now I'm so confused - shall I give the antidepressants a chance or shall I just begin Norprolac. One thing is for sure, when I was on Dostinex - with a stabilized prolactin level I got sick anyway - that MIGHT be stress/depression as my Doctor suggests?...
Very  confused!
I'm also hypothyroid with a bit low t3 - so that might ALSO be the explanation - don't know what to do!!
Thanks for comments....
Anxious greetings
Avatar universal
With prolactin that high, you are bound to have side effects.

Weird that he thinks dostinex is not for long term as I know of a lot of people that have been on it for years and years. But then again, when you can't be on it, surgery is the next step in the US. Nice that there is another option.

Sad to say, in my non-medical opinion but been there, done that, the anti-depressants will have little if any effect. You need to get the cause treated and then you will feel better.  I am not familiar with that medication (looked it up but the info is a bit vague) and it is not available in the US or Japan.

I did find this (and that according to this the med is not formulated like the others, so if that is true, that is great as man, I felt like I was being hit by a truck).

I just hope you are not like me and a few other of my friends. I presented with my prolactin symptoms first (to my docs, it was an incidentaloma of 5-6mm) and er, that tumor ended up being Cushing's and the prolactinoma that 98% of the doctor's said was impossible was on the other side of my pit - just 3mm. So you can have more than one type of tumor up there and they can do things. Doctors do not look for that or test enough when the patients suffer.
Avatar universal
Hi again
Thanks for your comment.
The med I'm going to take you can find on www.norprolac.com
Maybe it's becauce I'm danish - but I could't understand this :
I did find this (and that according to this the med is not formulated like the others, so if that is true, that is great as man, I felt like I was being hit by a truck).

What do you mean - great as man? And the link you sent I couldn't open. I appreciate your comments very much and I'm interested in what you think about Norprolac.
What are your symptoms and what are you prolactinlevel now?
How are you douing with your tumors now?

Thanks again
Gitte from Denmarkl

Avatar universal
I meant if the medication would be good, great as the other medication made me feel awful, *man* was just an expression of dismay - sorry!

Sorry about the link - it was to another chat room where people were comparing the three meds.
I did read the other page before responding but the information is generic. Sales.

I had pituitary surgery since I had Cushing's disease. The prolactinoma was found then as it was denied. My levels were never very high, but I did have full lactation out of both breasts for almost a year (ouch). The Cushing's tumor grew back almost right away - but that was probably because I was told to ignore everything for 12 years and by the time they got to it, it was spread all over. I had to have my adrenals removed to cure the Cushing's but I am disabled now due to the effects of the Cushing's and weak and sick.

They keep an eye on my prolactin levels now. My Cushing's is the real issue - that level is still high from the pituitary (ACTH) but I have other health issues too now.
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear about you, and all the trouble you are going through. Life has been rough on you.
Thank you for your comments.
I keep on searching to see wheather Norprolac will be the right for me.
Good luck - and merry christmas
from Denmark.
Avatar universal
It is always worth trying medications before surgery. I hope it works out for you!
Avatar universal
My wife was recently diagnosed with a prolactinoma tumor on her pituitary gland. About 6 months ago it was discovered after many hospital visits. Repeat headaches, tiredness, the milk production, massive mood swings. She recently began taking medication to reduce the size of the tumor which is between 3-5 mm a rather large one we are told. She is on anti anxiety and depression medication which seems to not agree with the medication she is on. She was prescribed Zoloft at one time. I do not recommend this for any person at all. She had tremendous mood swing with this medication after 2 days of use. I am trying to find out more about the interactions between these medications. Any help will be appreciated Sorry I do not have the Medications in front of me but the anti depressants are of the "ine" family.  Bromocryptine that's it supposed to replace natural hormone in the brain. 6-8 weeks to start working 1/2 dose next mri in may. My email is ***@****     "microdenoma" Some other symptoms heart palpitations, anxiety, nausea, hormones levels out of whack, acid reflux, soreness shoulders legs, depression any related info would be appreciated really want to stay away from more medication thx dan
Avatar universal
3-5mm is not large - 3-5CM would be large for a pituitary tumor. However it is not the size but the effect that matters for pituitary tumors - the large ones are nasty and the small ones too.

Bromo is not a replacement but a suppression medication so that or another medication in its class typically has to be taken forever. Bromo is not a hormone.

There are tons of anti-anxiety meds, but from what I know from others with pituitary tumors and myself - I had a prolactinoma myself - once her levels get back to normal, her mental symptoms should reduce as well.

Emails are not permitted for your protection - you don't want spammers to pick them up.
Avatar universal
I have a microadenoma. Been on dostinex for about 13 yrs. my new endocrinologist wanted to do a trial without dostinex. I was off of it for three months and I became very depressed and anxious like I never had been before. When she checked my levels they were high so I went back on it. After the second dose of dostinex I felt happy again. I have always had mild anxiety and I wonder if it is because of the pituitary tumor. When I stopped the dostinex and I was depressed I took Zoloft but I didn't like how I felt so stopped after one week. I never want to stop dostinex again because I'm afraid to become depressed and very anxious again. I'm beginning to wonder about this doctor because I told her I was depressed and she never told me it could be hyperprolactinemia. I found out about depression and anxiety with microadenomas while searching for answers about feeling depressed. I thought I was starting menopause but the depression and anxiety feelings stopped after restarting the med. I also read that antidepressants should not be taken while on dostinex because  of risk of serotonin syndrome and neuroleptic malignant syndrome but I see lots of you take antidepressants and either dostinex or parlodel. I hope this helps some of you.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the post...
Is your doc a neuro-endo?
For the most part, if you have a tumor controlled by meds, you can never go off as the med is the only thing keeping the control. I recently met a woman who had a doctor who sadly gave her bad advice, and her prolactinoma got totally out of control, almost killing her with an apoplexy.
Avatar universal
I have a Prolactinoma who have been discovered in 2012. I been on an off antidepressant and during the  times when i was on, the prolactinoma been growing and shrinking when i was off with little rising level off blood level of prolactine but not out off range.
So in think taking antidepressant when you have a Prolactinoma is definitely not a good idea
i found taking SAMe and extract of saffron, was good for improving my mood and those thinks do not rease your Prolactine but lower it
I think we can look for thinks that improve mood and lower prolactine there is other plants like Mucuna, Ginko and others that should be good ask google! (for me mucuna was to much, couldn t sleep well)
i gess that my habite to take a spoon of curcuma with peaper and olive oil every morning help to hill
And regard to my experience i also think  that you should not take alcool and café when you have a Prolactinoma cause it s rising prolactine, (alcool do it critically). You can repalce coffe by green tea cause it s lowering prolactine.

if you have some other experiences to share let me know!
And sorry for my English!

when i say green tea lower prolactine i m wrong, it do something with dopamine that coffee don t do. what i read i think is that excess of coffee is not good for your dopamine and or prolactine level
Have an Answer?
Top Cancer Answerers
Avatar universal
Northern, NJ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 15 ways to help prevent lung cancer.
New cervical cancer screening guidelines change when and how women should be tested for the disease.
They got it all wrong: Why the PSA test is imperative for saving lives from prostate cancer
Everything you wanted to know about colonoscopy but were afraid to ask
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Get the facts about this disease that affects more than 240,000 men each year.