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How do doctors treat the symptoms of pituitary gland problems?

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Doctors treat the symptoms of pituitary gland problems by prescribing medications such as dopamine agonists, somatostatin analogues or pegvisomant, says the Hormone Health Network. Dopamine agonists are drugs that stimulate the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, explains the National Parkinson Foundation. They are used for people with tumors called prolactinomas.

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Somatostatin analogues mimic the action of somatostatin, a hormone that is made by the hypothalamus, the pancreas and the GI tract, states Drugs.com. Somatostatin analogues are used to treat people with acromegaly and thyroid-stimulating hormone tumors. Pegvisomant is a synthetic protein that behaves like human growth hormone in the body and is also used to treat acromegaly.

If the pituitary gland has a tumor that destroys its ability to make hormones, doctors prescribe thyroid-stimulating hormones, antidiuretic hormones or sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, according to the Hormone Health Network. Other treatments for pituitary gland problems are surgery to remove the tumor. A less-invasive way to do this is through transsphenoidal microsurgery. In this surgery, the surgeon operates through the person's nose with the aid of a microscope and specialized surgical tools. This avoids the necessity of opening up the person's skull and the attendant risks. Another treatment is radiation therapy. Because radiation works slowly, it is often used with other modalities.

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