Generic Name: bromocriptine (BROE moe KRIP teen)Brand Names: Parlodel
Bromocriptine is in a group of drugs called dopamine receptor agonists. It has some of the same effects as a chemical called dopamine, which occurs naturally in your body. Low levels of dopamine in the brain are associated with Parkinson's disease.
Bromocriptine also reduces your levels of prolactin, a hormone that is released from the pituitary gland.
Bromocriptine is used to treat certain conditions caused by a hormone imbalance in which there is too much prolactin in the blood (also called hyperprolactinemia). Signs of too much prolactin in the body include lack of sexual development in adolescents. Women may have missed menstrual periods, loss of interest in sex, hot flashes, infertility, or unexpected breast milk production and leakage from the nipples. Men may have enlarged breasts, decreased libido, decreased facial or body hair, and loss of muscle.
Bromocriptine is also used to treat these disorders when they are caused by brain tumors that can produce prolactin.
Bromocriptine is sometimes used together with surgery or radiation in treating acromegaly, a condition caused by a pituitary gland tumor that produces too much growth hormone.
Bromocriptine is also used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as stiffness, tremors, muscle spasms, and poor muscle control.
Bromocriptine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before you take bromocriptine, tell your doctor if you have heart disease or a history of heart attack, high blood pressure, hereditary galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency, glucose-galactose malabsorption, liver or kidney disease, a stomach ulcer, a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, a history of mental illness or psychosis, or if you are planning to become pregnant while taking bromocriptine.Tell your doctor right away if you do become pregnant while taking bromocriptine. Do not breast-feed a baby while taking this medication. Take bromocriptine with food, even if you take it at bedtime.
uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension);
hypertension caused by pregnancy, including eclampsia and preeclampsia; or
if you are allergic to any type of ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine).
Bromocriptine may contain lactose. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have a hereditary form of galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use bromocriptine:
heart disease or a history of heart attack,
high blood pressure;
a stomach ulcer or history of stomach or intestinal bleeding; or
a history of mental illness or psychosis.
Bromocriptine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, a brain tumor can expand during pregnancy. Hypertension (high blood pressure) can also occur during pregnancy and bromocriptine could be dangerous if taken by a pregnant woman with high blood pressure.If you are not taking this medication to help you get pregnant, use a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking bromocriptine. Your doctor may also want you to have a pregnancy test every 4 weeks during treatment. You may not be able to take bromocriptine just after having a baby if you have a history of severe heart disease or coronary artery disease. Talk with your doctor about your specific situation. Bromocriptine lowers the hormone needed to produce breast milk. Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.Take bromocriptine with food, even if you take it at bedtime.
It is important to use bromocriptine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Your heart, blood pressure, vision, kidney function, or liver function may also need to be checked. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.Store bromocriptine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
See also: Bromocriptine dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, sweating, pale skin, dizziness, drowsiness, yawning, confusion, hallucinations, and fainting.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
If you are taking bromocriptine to treat high prolactin levels caused by a tumor, notify your doctor if you experience persistent, watery, nasal discharge.Stop using bromocriptine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
extreme drowsiness, falling asleep suddenly, even after feeling alert;
feeling like you might pass out;
dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure);
sudden headache, numbness or weakness, or problems with vision;
pain when you breathe, fast heart rate, feeling short of breath (especially when lying down);
pain in your chest, on your left side, or behind your breastbone;
back pain, swelling in your ankles or feet, urinating less than usual or not at all;
runny nose, unusual taste in your mouth;
black, bloody, or tarry stools; or
coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild headache, dizziness, tired feeling, mild drowsiness;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
cold feeling or numbness in your fingers; or
dry mouth, stuffy nose.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Hyperprolactinemia:
Initial: 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg orally daily.Titration: Add 2.5 mg orally, as tolerated, to the treatment dosage every 2 to 7 days.Maintenance: 2.5 mg to 15 mg orally daily.
Usual Adult Dose for Acromegaly:
Initial: 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg orally once daily, with food, at bedtime for 3 days.Titration: Add 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg orally, as tolerated, to the treatment dosage every 3 to 7 days.Maintenance: 20 mg to 30 mg orally dailyThe maximum dosage should not exceed 100 mg/day.
Usual Adult Dose for Parkinson's Disease:
Initial: 1.25 mg twice daily with meals.Titration: Add 2.5 mg/day, with meals, to dosage regimen every 14 to 28 days.Maximum dosage: 100 mg/day.
Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Mellitus Type II:
For the Cycloset (R) trade name of bromocriptine only:Initial: 0.8 mg orally daily taken within two hours after waking in the morning with foodTitration: Increase by 0.8 mg weekly as toleratedMaintenance: 1.6 to 4.8 mg orally daily taken within two hours after waking in the morning with foodThe maximum dosage should not exceed 4.8 mg daily.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Hyperprolactinemia:
11 to 15 years old:Initial: 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg orally daily.Maintenance: 2.5 mg to 10 mg orally daily.
Many drugs can interact with bromocriptine. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
asthma or allergy medication;
cholesterol-lowering drugs such as simvastatin (Zocor);
diabetes medication taken by mouth;
ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine);
heart or blood pressure medications;
heart rhythm medication;
HIV or AIDS medications;
medicines to treat psychiatric disorders;
medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection;
a sedative or narcotic medication; or