Chemical Structure of Bromocriptine

Bromocriptine (Parlodel) is an antiparkinsonian medication used as a tablet or capsule to treat Parkinson disease, acromegaly, the abnormal production of breast milk and to stop the production of breast milk after childbirth. Tumours of the pituitary gland in the brain cause both acromegaly (excess bone growth) and abnormal breast milk production (in both sexes).

It is safe to use bromocriptinein pregnancy but it is not to be used during breastfeeding. Use it with caution in psychiatric conditions, high or low blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, peptic ulcer, eye disease and liver disease, and women who wish to fall pregnant as bromocriptine may reduce fertility. Do not take it if suffering from high blood pressure in or immediately after pregnancy, after pregnancy if breastfeeding desired, experiencing toxaemia of pregnancy or with significant heart disease.

The side effects of bromocriptine may include:

  • nausea (very common),
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • nasal congestion,
  • vomiting,
  • tiredness,
  • reduced blood pressure (fainting).

Unusual effects may include:

  • hallucinations,
  • confusion,
  • behavioural disturbances,
  • unwanted muscle movements,
  • psychiatric disturbances,
  • a peptic ulcer,
  • vomiting blood,
  • severe psychiatric disturbances.

Interactions are possible with medications that lower blood pressure, erythromycin and alcohol. An overdose may cause vomiting, tiredness, low blood pressure and hallucinations but is not likely to be life threatening.

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