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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Bromocriptine

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Bromocriptine [posted 1/11/99]
Question: I have a 7 mm adenoma and am currently taking bromocriptine 2.5 mg once a day. I want to know if this will affect my chances of conceiving and also, how long will I have to take bromocriptine for?

Answer: Usually helps to conceive. You will be on the bromocriptine until the tumor shrinks and possibly permanently.

Question: There was an article in the Calgary Herald stating that using the drug bromocriptine to treat Parkinson's Disease had been found effective in fighting nicotine addiction. I advised my sister who lives in Zimbabwe, and her doctor said that she had no information on this treatment and asked if I could provide any. I realize that this is in the experimental stages, but can you provide any information, including recommended dosage so that I can forward this information on to her.

Answer: There have been some results published using bromocriptine in this manner. However, it is currently not an approved use and the dosage isn't as well established. Parlodel is best started small - 1 mg or so, and increased until the desired result is reached-not to exceed 15 mg. Usual doses are in the 5 to 7 mg range.

Question: I am looking for information on Bromocriptine. It is supposedly a drug that reduces Migraines during Menstrual Periods. Is there any side effects that would prevent an asthmatic from using this drug? How can I find out if my migraines are menstrual induced or not?

Answer: I have not used bromocriptine in migraines, but many drugs are used in this peculiar disorder. Quite honestly, the patient usually tells the physician that there is a correlation with the menstrual period. Keep track of your migraines on a small calendar and also your menstrual period. They usually occur the week before the period although many women have different typical times. Birth control pills are also a common source of migraines. Many of my patients after they figure out that there is a correlation start preventive medications 4 to 5 days before their predicted time. Whether bromocriptine would work or not I can't tell you. The major side effect will be nausea, so start with a very small dose. Other common preventives are beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and aspirin.

Question: I am looking for the possible side effects Bromocriptine (parlodel) on a primo gravida 18 yr old female, 33 weeks, with a prolactin secreting tumor (12 x 12 x 14). Are there any recommendations?

Answer: Parlodel(Bromocriptine) is a derivate of the ergot family of drugs. It has potent dopamine receptor agonist activity and as a consequence is useful in the treatment of prolactin secreting tumors of the pituitary, acromegaly(excess growth hormone production by the pituitary), and Parkinson's Disease. Because it belongs to the ergot family there is always a risk of hypertension with this drug-because pregnancy can cause hypertension this must be watched closely. Safety during pregnancy is not established, studies of the women on this drug do not show major abnormalities;however, studies are limited. In general, this drug is held unless there is impairment of the optic nerves by the pituitary tumor during pregnancy.

Prolonged Use
Question:I've been taking a small dose of Bromocriptine (2.5 mg per day) for the last year. I've been told I will have to continue for many more years. I have a pituitary tumor (Adenoma). What are the consequences of prolonged use?

Answer: Bromocriptine has been used for suppression of pituitary tumors for about 10-12 years. There do not seem to be any long term side effects which differ from the short term side effects. The short term side effects tend to be nausea, headache, vertigo, fatigue and abdominal complaints. About 2/3 of patients will have some of these symptoms. Brompcriptine is used in the treatment of pituitary adenomas(especially hyperllrolactinemia and acromegaly) and parkinson's disease.

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