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Side Effects
Serious

Seizures, chest pain, severe nausea and vomiting, headache and blurred vision caused by high blood pressure, wet cough and shortness of breath caused by fluid in the lungs. Consult your doctor immediately.
Common

Dizziness, weakness, and fainting caused by low blood pressure; nasal congestion and headache; abdominal cramping or pain.
Less Common

Confusion, fatigue, nervousness, depression, ringing in the ears, dry mouth, blurred vision, hallucinations, hair loss, anemia, impotence, constipation, or diarrhea.
Bromocriptine Mesylate


Drug Class:
Ergot alkaloid

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Parlodel 2.5 mg
(Novartis)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets, capsules

Why Prescribed
To treat hyperprolactinemia, a disorder caused by overproduction of the hormone prolactin. Hyperprolactinemia may occur by itself or in association with a tumor (prolactinoma) in the pituitary gland. The disorder causes abnormal production and persistent leakage of breast milk (in either men or women), infertility and cessation of menstrual periods in women, and testicular shrinkage and impotence in men. In some cases bromocriptine may be used to treat acromegaly (overproduction of growth hormone, causing enlargement of the hands, feet, jawbone, and internal organs). It is also used to treat Parkinson's disease.

How It Works
Bromocriptine blocks the pituitary from releasing the hormone prolactin, which is involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle, reproduction, and milk production. Similarly, it blocks the pituitary from releasing growth hormone. The drug activates certain chemical receptor sites in brain cells to reduce Parkinson's symptoms.

Range and Frequency
For hyperprolactinemia: Starting with 1.25 to 2.5 mg a day, the dose is increased by 1.25 mg a day at 3- to 7-day intervals until the desired therapeutic effect is achieved. Maintenance dose is 1.25 to 15 mg in divided doses, 2 or 3 times a day. For acromegaly: 1.25 to 30 mg a day in divided doses, 2 or 3 times a day. For Parkinson's disease: Starting with 1.25 to 2.5 mg a day, the dose is increased by 2.5 mg a day at 14- to 28-day intervals, to a maximum of 100 mg a day in divided doses, 2 or 3 times a day.

Onset of Effect
From 30 to 90 minutes. Full effects become apparent after a few weeks of therapy.

Duration of Action
For hyperprolactinemia and acromegaly: 8 hours. For Parkinson's disease: 12 to 18 hours.

Dietary Advice
For best results, bromocriptine should be taken with food or milk.

Storage
Store in a dry place away from heat and direct light. Discard the medicine if it becomes outdated.

Missed Dose
If you miss a dose, take it if you remember within 2 hours. After that, wait for the next dose and return to your regular schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Complete the prescribed dose even though symptoms diminish or disappear. Consult your doctor before discontinuing this drug.

Prolonged Use
Prolonged use at doses greater than 50 mg per day may cause uncontrolled movements of face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs (a condition known as tardive dyskinesia). Consult your doctor if such symptoms occur.

Over 60
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more common in older persons.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how bromocriptine affects you.

Alcohol
Bromocriptine reduces the body's tolerance to alcohol.

Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor before taking this drug.

Breast Feeding
Bromocriptine should not be used during breast feeding because it reduces breast milk production.

Infants and Children
Not recommended for anyone under the age of 15.

Overdose Symptoms
Severe dizziness and weakness, nausea, and vomiting.

What to Do
Call your doctor immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking any of the following drugs that may interact with bromocriptine: blood pressure medication, an oral contraceptive, erythromycin, a phenothiazine, an MAO inhibitor, progestin, levodopa, or a rauwolfia alkaloid.

Food Interactions
None are expected.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, lung disease, a peptic ulcer, or high blood pressure. Also tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery, including dental surgery, within 2 months.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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