Bromokriptin – How to use | Dose | Side Effects
Bromokriptin (also known as Bromocriptine) is a drug that belongs to group of medicines called dopamine agonists and prolactin inhibitors. Because this drug is prolactin inhibitor ((decreases prolactin levels in the blood) it is used to suppress lactation), usually in pregnant women who have miscarriage (loss of a pregnancy) or in conditions asocciated with high prolactin level in the blood.
Due to its other effects (stimulator of dopamine receptors), Bromokriptin is also used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, due to the lack of dopamine in these patients. This drug improves symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease (tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, depression) and may be used alone or in combination with other drugs.
This medicine is also used to treat acromegaly (a hormonal disorder in which the pituitary gland secretes too much growth hormone), because Bromokriptin reduces growth hormone levels.
Bromokriptin improves the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is used to relieve the symptoms of polycystic ovaries.
This drug can be used in the treatment of hyperprolactinemia in men as well as to treat prolactin tumor (prolactinoma).
It should be avoided in the following conditions:
- In patients allergic to Bromokriptin or other similar drugs. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy, such as:
- swelling of the face,
- swelling of the tongue, contact your doctor immediately.
- In patients with high blood pressure (especially uncontrolled hypertension) or hypertension caused by pregnancy.
- Patients suffering from mental illness.
Bear in mind that this drug can lead to sudden sleepiness, even during daily activities. Thus, the patient may suddenly fall asleep, therefore it is recommended to avoid driving and using machines while using this medicine.
It may cause visual disturbances, and it is necessary to contact a doctor if you are experiencing any vision problems.
Bromokriptin may significantly increase blood pressure, so it is necessary to contact your doctor if you experience signs of hypertension such as severe headache.
This medicine can cause impulse control disorders which can include:
- pathological gambling,
- excessive sexual desire,
- consumption of abnormal amount of food and liquids,
- compulsive buying and shopping.
If patient or his relatives notice these symptoms, immediately contact your doctor.
Bromokriptin may cause retroperitoneal fibrosis (a serious condition that leads to kidney damage and kidney failure). If you are experiencing symptoms, such as:
- difficulty urinating,
- pain in the back,
- swelling of the legs
contact your doctor immediately.
Therefore, patients who are treated with this drug should be regularly monitored.
Use during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Bromokriptin should not be used during pregnancy, therefore with you should stop using this drug, as soon as you notice absence of menstruation. However, your doctor can assess that benefits of application of this drug outweigh the risks for the child, and then you can use Bromokriptin.
Mothers who want to breastfeed must not use this medicine because it prevents the milk secretion.
How to use
The usual initial dose is 1.25 mg (half tablet 2.5 mg) at bedtime with dinner.
The dose may be increased over time, until a desired effect is achieved (e.g. 2.5 mg twice a day, in the morning and in the evening).
Usual dose to cause lactation suppression is 2.5 mg of Bromokriptin on the first day (in the evening before bedtime), and then the dose may be increased to 2.5 mg in the morning and in the evening for two weeks.
In patients with hyperprolactinemia, Bromokriptin is used at a dose of 2.5 mg three times a day. In patients with elevated prolactin, This drug is used at a dose of 2.5 mg twice a day (in the morning and in the evening).
In Parkinson’s disease, Bromokriptin should be given as follows:
1-st Week: 1.25 mg once a day at bedtime with dinner.
2-nd Week: 2.5 mg once a day at bedtime with dinner.
3-th Week: 2.5 mg twice a day (in the morning and in the evening, with a meal).
4-th week: 2.5 mg three times a day (every 8 hours, with a meal).
The dose may be increased until a desired effect is achieved.
Dose should be decreased in patients with liver disorders.
Use with other medicines (Interactions)
It should be avoided in combination with the following drugs:
- Drugs used to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensives).
- Medicines that may cause high blood pressure, such as:
- ergot alkaloids, which are used to treat migraine (ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), and drugs known as sympathomimetics (ephedrine, naphazoline, phenylephrine, and others). Concomitant use of Bromokriptin with these drugs can cause very high blood pressure!
- Drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as:
- halioperidol (Haldol),
- droperidol and others. These drugs can reduce the effect of Bromokriptin.
Avoid alcoholic beverages while using this medicine.
Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal products you are taking.
Bromokritpin may cause the following side effects:
- excessive sleepiness even during daily activities,
- low blood pressure (hypotension),
- stomach bleeding,
- retroperitoneal fibrosis,
- irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia),
- alopecia (hair loss),
- visual disturbances,
- shortness of breath,
- impulse control disorders (pathological gambling, excessive sexual desire, consumption of abnormal amount of food and liquids, compulsive buying and shopping),
- chest pain (which may indicate a heart attack) and others .
Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.