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Galactorrhea

more about Galactorrhea


  • Galactorrhea refers to a condition in which the breast produces milk flow when a woman is not nursing.  Women who have had multiple pregnancies may express small amounts of milk at times, and this is not abnormal.  Milk production occurs because a hormone called Prolactin is released by the pituitary gland.  A variety of factors may play a role in abnormal milk production.

  • Milk production when not nursing (see above)
  • Others that may occur:

- Headache, Double Vision, stopping of menstrual period


  • Unknown
  • Surgery/trauma
  • Exercise
  • Acromegaly
  • Chronic chest wall irritation (e.g., Shingles)
  • Low thyroid
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Pituitary problems
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Spinal cord lesions
  • Cushing's disease
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Lupus
  • Oophorectomy (surgical removal of ovaries)
  • Medication, including:
    1. Amphetamines
    2. Anesthetic agents
    3. Anti-psychotic medications
    4. Estrogens
    5. Hydroxyzine (Atarax)
    6. Methyldopa
    7. Narcotics (i.e., codeine)
    8. Nicotine
    9. Progestins
    10. Reserpine
    11. Tagamet
    12. Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., Elavil)
    13. Verapamil
    14. SSRI antidepressants

  • Prolactin blood level
  • Pregnancy must be ruled out
  • Liver and kidney function tests to rule out diseases of the kidney and liver
  • Thyroid functions tests
  • MRI of the brain if necessary (to evaluate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland)
  • Growth hormone level if Acromegaly suspected
  • FSH/LH hormones if there is absence of menstruation
  • If Cushing's disease is suspected

  • Correct the underlying cause. For example, if caused by medication, stop the offending medication, etc.
  • Bromocriptine is a medication that brings about reduction from all causes.




more about Galactorrhea


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