You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. You may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in disorders that affect your glands and hormones (endocrinologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with you doctor. For prolactinoma, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- If I take medication, how long will I need to take it?
- Are there alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- If I have surgery, will the prolactinoma come back?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Will I be able to have children?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:
Nov. 30, 2012
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- Are you taking medications for another condition?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you or any family members ever had high calcium levels, kidney stones or tumors in other endocrine glands?
- Prolactinoma. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/prolact/prolact.htm. Accessed Jan. 17, 2011.
- Melmed S, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of hyperprolactinemia: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;96:273.
- Colao A, et al. Therapy of aggressive pituitary tumors. Expert Opinion Pharmacotherapy. 2011;12:1561.
- Mann WA. Treatment for prolactinomas and hyperprolactinaemia: A lifetime approach. European Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2011;41:334.
- Klibanski A. Prolactinomas. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;352:121.
- Colao A, et al. Medical treatment of prolactinomas. Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 2011;7:267.
- Parlodel (prescribing information). East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; 2012. http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/product/pi/pdf/parlodel.pdf. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Cycloset (prescribing information). San Diego, Calif.: VeroScience, LLC; 2010. http://www.veroscience.com/CyclosetFDAapprovedPackageInsert.htm. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Cabergoline (prescribing information). Sellersville, Pa.: Teva Pharmaceuticals; 2012. http://www.tevagenerics.com/default.aspx?pageid=3364&sortby=ProductName&ProductName=Cabergoline+Tablets&BrandName=Dostinex%C2%AE+Tablets. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Martinkova J, et al. Impulse control disorders associated with dopaminergic medication in patients with pituitary adenomas. Clinical Neuropharmacology. 2011;34:179.