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Bromocriptine (Parlodel): Side Effects, Uses and Dosage

What is oral bromocriptine?

Bromocriptine belongs to a class of medication called anticholinergics that work by blocking a certain natural substance (acetylcholine). This helps decrease muscle stiffness, sweating, and the production of saliva, and helps improve walking ability in people with Parkinson's disease. Anticholinergics such as bromocriptine can stop severe muscle spasms of the back, neck, and eyes that are sometimes caused by psychiatric drugs. It can also decrease other side effects such as muscle stiffness/rigidity (extrapyramidal signs-EPS).

What brand names are available for oral bromocriptine?


Is oral bromocriptine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for oral bromocriptine?


What are the uses for oral bromocriptine?

Bromocriptine is used to treat hyperprolactinemia, acromegaly, and signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Bromocriptine is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease or involuntary movements due to the side effects of certain psychiatric drugs (antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine/haloperidol).

What are the side effects of oral bromocriptine?


  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) has been reported in some patients taking bromocriptine. The risk of experiencing hypotension is particularly of concern when treatment is first started or after increases in dose. Patients who are just starting treatment are advised to stand up slowly when getting up from a sitting or lying down position to avoid injury from falls due to dizziness or lightheadedness (orthostatic hypotension).
  • Some patients with pre-existing mental disorders may experience worsening psychotic symptoms or bromocriptine may reduce the effectiveness of some medications used to treat psychotic disorders.
  • Bromocriptine may cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Patients should not drive or operate machinery until they know how they will respond to the medication.
  • Certain medications used to treat schizophrenia and other mental disorders may interact with the way bromocriptine works.

What is the dosage for oral bromocriptine?

Bromocriptine should be taken with meals.

  • The dose for treating hyperprolactinemia is 2.5 to 15 mg daily. The initial dose for treating acromegaly is 1.25 to 2.5 mg at night. The dose may be increased by 1.25 to 2.5 mg every 3 to 7 days up to a maximum dose of 100 mg daily.
  • Parkinson's treatment is started at 1.25 mg every 12 hours. The dose may be increased by 2.5 mg a day every 2 to 4 weeks up to a maximum dose of 100 mg daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with oral bromocriptine?

  • Certain medications used to treat schizophrenia and other mental disorders may interact with the way bromocriptine works. Patients receiving treatment for mental disorders should check with their doctor or pharmacist before beginning a regimen that contains bromocriptine.
  • Bromocriptine may decrease the effectiveness of ergot related drugs that are used to treat migraine headaches. This combination should be avoided.
  • Bromocriptine is extensively metabolized or broken down by a group of liver enzymes known as the CYP3A4 enzymes. Drugs that increase or decrease the activity of these enzymes should not be combined with bromocriptine.

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Is oral bromocriptine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of bromocriptine use in pregnant women. Bromocriptine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the unborn baby.

Nursing mothers should not use bromocriptine because it reduces production of breast milk.

What else should I know about oral bromocriptine?

What preparations of oral bromocriptine are available?

Tablets: 2.5 mg; Capsules: 5 mg

How should I keep oral bromocriptine stored?

Bromocriptine tablets and capsules should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).


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