BROMOCRIPTINE (Parlodel®) comes from a group of medicines known as ergot alkaloids. It blocks the release of a hormone called prolactin that affects the menstrual cycle and breast milk production. Bromocriptine is useful in treating menstrual and fertility problems and symptoms caused by cancers (adenomas) that raise prolactin levels in the body. Bromocriptine can be used to treat Parkinson's disease. The drug is also helpful in treating acromegaly (excessive growth hormone). Generic bromocriptine tablets and capsules are available.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions: • history of heart attack • heart or vessel disease • high or low blood pressure • irregular heart rate • liver disease • mental disorders • retroperitoneal fibrosis • seizures (convulsions) • ulcers or history of ulcers • an unusual or allergic reaction to bromocriptine, ergot alkaloids, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives • pregnant or trying to get pregnant • breast-feeding How should this medicine be used? Take bromocriptine tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets or capsules with a drink of water. It is best to take bromocriptine with food to help with symptoms such as upset stomach. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is more than 4 hours since your dose was due, wait until your next dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with bromocriptine?
• alcohol • cabergoline • cyclosporine • dihydroergotamine • ergoloid mesylates • ergonovine or methylergonovine • ergotamine • erythromycin or related medicines such as clarithromycin, dirithromycin, and troleandomycin • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills • imatinib • levodopa • medicines for HIV infection (such as amprenavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir) • medicines for high blood pressure • medicines for mental depression • medicines for mental problems and psychotic disturbances • memantine • methysergide • metoclopramide • sirolimus • tacrolimus • tamoxifen
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking bromocriptine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: Rare or uncommon: • unusual bleeding • blurred vision • difficulty breathing • fainting spells, dizziness or lightheadedness • unusual or severe headache • irregular heartbeat, chest pain or palpitations • numbness, tingling, or burning in hands or feet • rash or hives • seizures (convulsions) • spasm in fingers or toes, or unusual muscle movements • stomach pain • vomiting More common: • changes in blood pressure • confusion or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there) • persistent, watery nasal discharge • severe weakness or tiredness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): • anxiety or nervousness • diarrhea or constipation • difficulty sleeping • drowsiness • dry mouth or metallic taste in mouth • headache • loss of appetite • nausea • ringing in ears • runny nose, or stuffy nose • mild stomach cramps • mild swelling in feet • tiredness • mild weakness
What should I watch for while taking bromocriptine?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Ask your prescriber or health care professional if you should check your blood pressure regularly, especially if you get severe headaches, and report changes in blood pressure if they occur. Contact your provider promptly if you develop an unusual or severe headache or have changes in your vision.
If you stop taking bromocriptine when it is being used for tumor treatment, the tumor may regrow quickly, and your original symptoms may return. Do not stop taking this medication unless your prescriber tells you to.
You may get dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires mental alertness until you know how bromocriptine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy, and increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks. Dizziness is more common after the first dose. Take it before bedtime if possible and be careful getting out of bed.
Avoid exposure to cold. Contact your provider promptly if you experience tingling, burning, or numbness in your hands or feet.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water, will help.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking bromocriptine.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.