Research Article

Single dose cabergoline versus bromocriptine in inhibition of puerperal lactation: randomised, double blind, multicentre study. European Multicentre Study Group for Cabergoline in Lactation Inhibition.

BMJ 1991; 302 doi: (Published 08 June 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;302:1367


OBJECTIVE--To compare the efficacy and safety of a single dose of 1 mg of cabergoline with that of bromocriptine 2.5 mg twice daily for 14 days in the inhibition of puerperal lactation. DESIGN--Prospective, randomised, double blind, parallel group, multicentre study. SETTING--University of hospital departments of obstetrics and gynaecology in different European countries. SUBJECTS--272 puerperal women not wishing to lactate (136 randomised to each drug). INTERVENTIONS--Women randomised to cabergoline received two 0.5 mg tablets of cabergoline and one placebo tablet within 27 hours after delivery and then placebo twice daily for 14 days. Those randomised to bromocriptine received 2.5 mg of bromocriptine and two placebo tablets within 27 hours and then 2.5 mg of bromocriptine twice daily for 14 days. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Success of treatment (complete or partial) according to milk secretion, breast engorgement, and breast pain; rebound symptomatology; serum prolactin concentrations; and number of adverse events. RESULTS--Complete success was achieved in 106 of 136 women randomised to cabergoline and in 94 of 136 randomised to bromocriptine and partial success in 21 and 33 women respectively. Rebound breast symptomatology occurred respectively in five and 23 women with complete success up to day 15 (p less than 0.0001). Serum prolactin concentrations dropped considerably with both drugs from day 2 to day 15; a prolactin secretion rebound effect was observed in women treated with bromocriptine. cabergoline and 36 receiving bromocriptine (p = 0.054), occurring most during the first treatment day. CONCLUSION--A single 1 mg dose of cabergoline is at least as effective as bromocriptine 2.5 mg twice daily for 14 days in preventing puerperal lactation. Because of the considerably lower rate of rebound breast activity and adverse events and the simpler administration schedule cabergoline should be the drug of choice for lactation inhibition.