Breastfeeding is considered as gold standard for infant nutrition and should be interrupted only when a compelling indication exists. Certain medical conditions such as abortion, stillbirth, HIV infection, or infant galactosemia and certain medications such as chemotherapy necessitate lactation inhibition to protect the health of mother and infant. Drug use evaluation (DUE) studies are done to explore the current practice in a setting and help to identify areas in which further information and education may be needed by clinicians.
The aim of this study was to conduct a DUE of cabergoline to assess indications for lactation inhibition, dosage regimen, and its safety.
A retrospective cross-sectional DUE study was conducted over a period of 4 months from September 1, 2013, till December 31, 2013, at the Women’s Hospital, Qatar. All cabergoline prescriptions written for lactation inhibition within 10 days of delivery or abortion were included in the study. A descriptive data analysis was undertaken.
Of the 85 patients included, stillbirth (50.6%) was considered as the main reason for lactation inhibition, followed by abortion (27.1%) and neonatal death (12.9%). The remaining 9.4% of the patients had live baby, and the majority of them were prescribed cabergoline for lactation inhibition because their maternal medical conditions required the use of drugs with insufficient safety data (n=6). Seventy-four percent of patients received cabergoline at accurate time and dose. However, 14% of the patients had preexisting hypertensive disorder and 58.3% of them were diagnosed as uncontrolled hypertension.
The current DUE study found that cabergoline was mainly used to inhibit lactation for patients with stillbirth, abortion, and neonatal death. In mothers who use medications for other medical conditions, benefits and risks of breastfeeding should be carefully balanced before prescribing cabergoline. Current prescribing pattern can be further enhanced through informing health care providers regarding appropriate cabergoline dosage regimen and its safety in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.