Hypopituitarism | Treatment


How is hypopituitarism treated?

Your doctor will treat the condition that is the cause of your hypopituitarism first. This can help restore your pituitary gland's ability to produce hormones.

If a tumor on your pituitary gland is causing your hypopituitarim, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove it or radiation therapy to shrink it.

If your body does not produce enough of one or more pituitary hormones after treating the underlying condition, your doctor may prescribe a hormone replacement medicine to add to your body’s hormone production.

Hormone replacement medicines include:

  • Corticosteroids (such as prednisone and hydrocortisone) to replace hormones missing because of an adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency.
  • Desmopressin (DDAVP) to replace adrenocoricotropic hormone missing because of an anti-diuretic hormone deficiency. This medicine also helps reduce your body’s loss of water through frequent urination.
  • Growth hormone (also called somatropin) to promote growth in children and to benefit adults who have a growth hormone deficiency.
  • Levothyroxine to replace thyroid hormones missing because of a thyroid-stimulating hormone deficiency.
  • Sex hormones to replace testosterone (in men), estrogen (in women) or an estrogen/progesterone combination (in women) missing because of a pituitary problem.

If you are taking hormone replacement medicine, your doctor may want to monitor the levels of hormones in your blood to make sure you’re getting the right amount of replacement hormones.

If you become very sick (such as with the flu) or go through a stressful time, your doctor may adjust the dose of replacement hormone you take to act the way a normally functioning pituitary gland would act in response to these situations. You might also need a dose adjustment if you become pregnant or have a significant change in weight.

You should carry a medical alert card and bracelet at all times so that emergency medical workers know what kind of care you need in case of emergency.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/07