Know the basics
What is bromocriptine used for?
Bromocriptine is used alone or with other medications (e.g., levodopa) to treat Parkinson’s disease. It can improve your ability to move and decrease shakiness (tremor), stiffness, slowed movement, and unsteadiness. It may also decrease the number of episodes of not being able to move (“on-off syndrome”).
Bromocriptine is also used to treat hormonal problems caused by high levels of a certain chemical made by the body (prolactin). Such problems include unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, difficulty becoming pregnant, decreased sperm production, and decreased sexual ability. Because of possible serious side effects (e.g., high blood pressure, seizure, heart attack, stroke), bromocriptine is not recommended for stopping unwanted breast milk after pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion.
Bromocriptine is also used alone or with other treatments to lower high growth hormone levels (acromegaly). Bromocriptine is also used to treat prolactin-secreting tumors. Bromocriptine may be used to reduce the tumor size before surgery or to control symptoms until other treatments start working.
Bromocriptine is an ergot medication that works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (dopamine) in the brain. It also prevents the release of certain hormones (growth hormone, prolactin). Bromocriptine can lower these hormone levels, but it does not cure the causes of the increased levels.
Bromocriptine is an ergot medication that is believed to make your body’s insulin function better, improving blood sugar control.
Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
How should I take bromocriptine?
Take bromocriptine by mouth with food, usually 1-2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may start your treatment at a lower dose and gradually increase it to find the best dose for you. Bromocriptine often causes dizziness, especially just after the first dose. Lie down immediately after taking your first dose to reduce the risk of injury from falling.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, the condition being treated, and your response to therapy.
Take bromocriptine regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
For Parkinson’s disease, your doctor will adjust your dose based on your symptoms and side effects. Your doctor may direct you to lower your levodopa dose after you start this medication. Do not change or stop your medication without talking with your doctor first.
For high prolactin levels, it may take 6-8 weeks for the effects of high prolactin to decrease. It may take up to 12 months before you get the full benefit of this medication.
For acromegaly, your doctor will monitor your growth hormone levels and adjust the dose.
Do not stop taking this medication without your doctor’s approval. If you suddenly stop taking this drug, withdrawal reactions may occur. Such reactions can include fever, muscle stiffness, and confusion. Report any such reactions to your doctor immediately. When stopping extended, regular treatment with this drug, gradually reducing the dosage as directed will help prevent withdrawal reactions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
How do I store bromocriptine?
Bromocriptine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store bromocriptine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of bromocriptine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush bromocriptine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using bromocriptine?
Before taking bromocriptine,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bromocriptine; ergot alkaloids such as cabergoline (Dostinex), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Germinal, Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Bellergal-S, Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine), methylergonovine (Methergine), methysergide (Sansert), and pergolide (Permax); any other medications; or any of the ingredients in bromocriptine tablets or capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amitriptyline (Elavil); antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); antihistamines; chloramphenicol; dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexpak); other dopamine agonists such as cabergoline (Dostinex), levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa), pergolide (Permax), and ropinirole (Requip); ergot-type medications such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Germinal, Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Bellergal-S, Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine), methylergonovine (Methergine), and methysergide (Sansert); haloperidol (Haldol); imipramine (Tofranil); insulin; macrolide antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, in PrevPac) and erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); certain medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); oral medications for diabetes; medications for asthma, colds, high blood pressure, migraines, and nausea; medications for mental illness such as clozapine (Clozaril, FazaClo), olanzapine (Zyprexa, in Symbyax), thiothixene (Navane), and ziprasidone (Geodon); methyldopa (in Aldoril); metoclopramide (Reglan); nefazodone; octreotide (Sandostatin); pimozide (Orap); probenecid (in Col-Probenecid, Probalan); reserpine; rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater, Rimactane); and sumatriptan (Imitrex). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with bromocriptine, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure or migraine headaches that cause fainting. Your doctor may tell you not to take bromocriptine.
- Tell your doctor if you have recently given birth, if you have ever fainted, and if you have or have ever had a heart attack; a slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat; mental illness; low blood pressure;ulcers; bleeding in the stomach or intestines; Raynaud’s syndrome (condition in which the hands and feet become numb and cool when exposed to cold temperatures); heart, kidney, or liver disease; or any condition that prevents you from digesting foods containing sugar, starch, or dairy products normally.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you are taking bromocriptine (Parlodel) to treat lack of menstrual periods and infertility caused by hyperprolactinemia, use a method of birth control other than hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections) until you have regular menstrual periods; then stop using birth control. You should be tested for pregnancy once every 4 weeks as long as you do not menstruate. Once your menstrual period returns, you should be tested for pregnancy any time your menstrual period is 3 days late. If you do not wish to become pregnant, use a method of birth control other than hormonal contraceptives while you are taking bromocriptine. If you become pregnant during your treatment with bromocriptine, stop taking the medication and call your doctor.
- Do not breast-feed while you are taking bromocriptine.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking bromocriptine (Cycloset).
- You should know that bromocriptine may make you drowsy and cause you to suddenly fall asleep. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking bromocriptine. Alcohol can make the side effects from bromocriptine worse.
- You should know that bromocriptine may cause dizziness, nausea, sweating, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking bromocriptine or when your dose is increased. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- Ask your doctor what to do if you get sick, develop an infection or fever, experience unusual stress, or are injured. These conditions can affect your blood sugar and the amount of bromocriptine (Cycloset) you may need
Is it safe to take bromocriptine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of bromocriptine?
Common side effects include mild headache, dizziness, tired feeling, mild drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, cold feeling or numbness in your fingers, dry mouth, or stuffy nose.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- Vision problems, constant runny nose;
- Chest pain, pain when you breathe, fast heart rate, rapid breathing, feeling short of breath (especially when lying down);
- Back pain, swelling in your ankles or feet, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- Confusion, hallucinations, feeling like you might pass out;
- Low blood sugar (headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, trouble concentrating);
- Muscle movements you cannot control, loss of balance or coordination;
- Bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or
- Dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
- Less serious side effects may include:
- Dizziness, spinning sensation, mild drowsiness, feeling tired;
- Mild headache, depressed mood, sleep problems (insomnia);
- Dry mouth, stuffy nose;
- Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation; or
- Cold feeling or numbness in your fingers.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with bromocriptine?
Bromocriptine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Eletriptan, Frovatriptan, Naratriptan, Phenelzine, Rizatriptan, Sumatriptan.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Almotriptan, Amoxapine, Carbamazepine, Ceritinib, Clomipramine, Cobicistat, Crizotinib, Dabrafenib, Dihydroergotamine, slicarbazepine Acetate, Idelalisib, Indinavir, Isocarboxazid, Isometheptene, Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, Linezolid, Metoclopramide, Mitotane, Nefazodone ,Nelfinavir, Nilotinib, Phenylpropanolamine, Piperaquine, Primidone, Procarbazine, Rasagiline, Ritonavir, Selegiline, Siltuximab.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Bromperidol, Clarithromycin, Cyclosporine, Erythromycin, Kava, Thioridazine,
Does food or alcohol interact with bromocriptine?
Bromocriptine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with bromocriptine?
Bromocriptine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:
- Coronary artery disease or other serious cardiovascular disorder, history of;
- Hypertension (high blood pressure), uncontrolled;
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure—Parlodel® should not be used in patients with these conditions unless medically necessary.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (ketones in the blood);
- Syncopal (fainting) migraine headaches;
- Type I diabetes—Cycloset® should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Trauma—These conditions may cause temporary problems with blood sugar control and your doctor may want to treat you temporarily with insulin.
- Galactose intolerance (a rare genetic disorder);
- Glucose-galactose malabsorption (a rare genetic disorder);
- Lactase deficiency (a rare genetic disorder), severe—Use of Parlodel® is not recommended in patients with these conditions.
- Heart attack, history of;
- Heart or blood vessel disease (e.g., pericardial effusion);
- Hypertension (high blood pressure);
- Lung disease (e.g., pleural effusion, pulmonary fibrosis);
- Mental illness (e.g., psychosis), history of;
- Retroperitoneal fibrosis;
- Seizures, history of;
- Stomach ulcers or bleeding, or history of;
- Stroke, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of Bromocriptine for an adult?
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 daily
The 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 Type 2
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 food
Titration: Increase by 0.8 mg weekly as tolerated
Maintenance: 1.6 to 4.8 mg orally daily taken within two hours after waking in the morning with food
The maximum dosage should not exceed 4.8 mg daily.
What is the dose of Bromocriptine for a child?
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.
How is bromocriptine available?
Bromocriptine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
Pardolel: 5 mg
Generic: 5 mg
Cycloset: 0.8 mg
Pardolel: 2.5 mg
Generic: 2.5 mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of bromocriptine , take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Bromocriptine https://www.drugs.com/cdi/bromocriptine.html. Accessed July 7, 2016.
Bromocriptine http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5565-7/bromocriptine-oral/bromocriptine---oral/details. Accessed July 7, 2016.
Bromocriptine (Oral Route) http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/bromocriptine-oral-route/description/drg-20062385. Accessed July 7, 2016.