My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
Q.

Aside from a prolactinoma, what else can cause prolactin levels to rise?

Related Topics: Prolactinoma
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

5,093 Answers
189,708 Helpful Votes
155 Followers
A.

In some people, high blood levels of prolactin can be traced to causes other than a prolactinoma. Other causes include:

  • Prescription drugs: Prolactin secretion in the pituitary is normally suppressed by the brain chemical dopamine. Drugs that block the effects of dopamine at the pituitary or deplete dopamine stores in the brain may cause the pituitary to secrete prolactin. These drugs include the major tranquilizers trifluoperazine (Stelazine) and haloperidol (Haldol); metoclopramide (Reglan) used to treat gastroesophageal reflux and the nausea caused by certain cancer drugs; and less often, alpha methyldopa and reserpine (Harmonyl) used to control hypertension.
  • Other pituitary tumors: Other tumors may block the flow of dopamine from the brain, which normally inhibits its prolactin-secreting cells. Such so-called "mixed" tumors arise in or near the pituitary, and include those that release excessive growth hormone (acromegaly) or stimulate cortisol production (Cushing's syndrome). These can also cause the pituitary to secrete more prolactin.
  • Some nonpituitary tumors: Prolactin secretion can also be caused by certain cancers, such as lung cancer.
  • Hypothyroidism: Increased prolactin levels are often seen in people with hypothyroidism, and doctors routinely test people with hyperprolactinemia for hypothyroidism.
  • Breast stimulation can modestly increase the amount of prolactin in the blood.
  • Chest wall trauma (for example, an injury from a car steering wheel after an accident) can lead to increased levels of prolactin.
  • Marijuana use is also a well documented cause of elevated levels of prolactin.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

11 of 18 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Prolactinoma (Pituitary Tumor)
 
 

Got Your WebMD Answer?

Next Steps: