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Sexual Functioning in Hyperprolactinemic Patients Treated With Cabergoline or Bromocriptine

Krysiak, Robert MD, PhD*; Okopień, Bogusław MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000777
Original Investigation

Background: Elevated prolactin levels were found to be associated with impaired sexuality.

Study Question: The aim of the study was to compare the impact of bromocriptine and cabergoline on sexual functioning in both genders.

Study Design: The study enrolled 39 young women and 18 young men receiving bromocriptine treatment. In 19 women and 8 men, because of poor tolerance, bromocriptine was replaced with cabergoline, whereas the remaining ones continued bromocriptine treatment.

Measures and Outcomes: Apart from measuring serum levels of prolactin and insulin sensitivity, at the beginning of the study and 16 weeks later, all included patients completed questionnaires evaluating female or male sexual functioning (Female Sexual Function Index; International Index of Erectile Function-15).

Results: Irrespective of the gender, posttreatment prolactin levels were lower in cabergoline-treated patients than in bromocriptine-treated patients. Baseline sexual functioning did not differ between patients well and poorly tolerating bromocriptine treatment. Neither in men nor in women receiving bromocriptine, posttreatment sexual functioning differed from baseline one. In both genders, cabergoline improved sexual desire. Moreover, in men, the drug improved erectile and orgasmic function, whereas in women, it improved sexual arousal. All these effects correlated with the impact of this drug on prolactin levels and on insulin sensitivity.

Conclusions: Cabergoline is superior to bromocriptine in affecting male and female sexual functioning and should be preferred in hyperprolactinemic men and women with sexual dysfunction.

Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.

Address for correspondence: Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Medyków 18, 40-752 Katowice, Poland. E-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

R. Krysiak conceived of the study, participated in its design, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted and edited the manuscript. B. Okopień conducted the literature search, participated in its design and coordination, and provided critical input during manuscript preparations. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

The study was approved by the local institutional review board.

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