Pituitary Tumor: Medication Therapy

There are many medications used to treat pituitary tumors, Medications can:

  • Keep small tumors from growing
  • Shrink tumors
  • Stop tumors from making hormones that affect other parts of your body

Know that medications cannot fully destroy pituitary tumors.

The type of medication you need depends on the type of tumor you have. If the tumor makes hormones, it also depends on the exact hormone and how much of the hormone it makes.

  • Prolactin. These tumors are first treated with oral medications. They help keep the tumor from making prolactin. The medications also work to shrink the tumor or stop it from growing more. After a few months, you will have blood tests to measure your prolactin levels. You may also have an MRI to check the size of the tumor. These tests can tell if the medication is working. If the medication works, you may be able to stop taking it. In some cases, you may need the medication for life.
  • Somatotropin (growth hormone). First, these tumors are treated with surgery. If your hormone levels stay high after surgery, you will need medication. It comes in the form of an injection.
  • Gonadotropin (FSH/LH). These tumors are rare and do not cause symptoms. You may only know you have it if the tumor is big enough to push on the nerves of the brain and cause problems. Since the tumors tend to be large, surgery and radiation are often the first treatments. If your tumor does not respond to those treatments, you may need medication.
  • Thyrotropin (TSH). These rare tumors are first treated with surgery and then possibly radiation. Afterwards, if your TSH levels stay high, you may need medication to bring them down.

Tumors that Do Not Make Hormones

The first line of treatment includes surgery and radiation. If your tumor does not respond to treatment, you may need medication to help slow the growth of the tumor.