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Prolactin is secreted by the pituitary gland. Major functions of prolactin: to induce milk production and to develop nerve cells. Higher levels of prolactin may cause tumors in the lungs, the pituitary gland, and the kidneys. Prolactin is sometimes used by doctors to evaluate sexual dysfunction of unknown cause in both men and women. It seems higher levels of prolactin may disrupt normal orgasms. Drugs, supplements, and certain diseases may disrupt normal prolactin blood levels. These include hypothyroidism, antidepressants, estrogen, pain killers, diuretics, and arginine. Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.

Special Note: Any type of contraceptives that contain hormones will invalidate hormone results.