This article is a response to the article by Gallagher, J., et al, who wrote the article described by Summary 382. That article reviewed the case of a girl with a prolactinoma who improved on an herb, Vitex agnus casti (chasteberry.) This herb is traditionally used for “dysmenorrhea, oligo/amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, corpus luteum insufficiency, infertility, symptomatic menopause, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, disrupted lactation and acne.
In cyclic mastalgia (breast pain and swelling) and hyperprolactinemia (hyperprolactinaemia,) VAC worked as well as bromocryptine in relieving symptoms. It should not be used during pregnancy and lactation because of the lack of studies about safety during pregnancy and lactation.
The authors followed a 31 year old patient who had a prolactinoma of the pituitary. She had amenorrhea and galactorrhea (production of breast milk). Basal prolactin level was 2207 IU/l. The patient refused medications but took a VAC extract, 20 drops b.i.d. This patient did not respond well to the vitex. However, vitex is often an acceptable treatment for patients with prolactinomas who don’t want to take pharmaceuticals.
CONCLUSION: Vitex agnus castus (chasteberry) can be a useful treatment for the hyperprolactinemia seen with prolactinoma tumors.
NOTE: Phenylalanine and tyrosine are amino acids which act as dopamine agonists and reduce prolactin levels. Boswellin (Boswellia serrata) is an herb which reduces prolactin by its 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor activity.
Read about multiple sclerosis and hyperprolactinemia.
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