Bromocriptine review

Bromocriptine is an ergoline derivative, a substance which causes vasoconstriction or a narrowing of the blood vessels. It is also a dopamine agonist drug that works by activating dopamine receptors in the brain for effective use against pituitary tumors and Parkinson's disease.

Bromocriptine is also used in the treatment of amenorrhea, a female condition where the menstrual period fails to occur. It is further indicated for infertility, abnormal breast milk discharge, hypogonadism (male reproductive disorder of the gonads), and acromegaly (excessive growth hormones in the body).

The drug works by lowering the body's levels of prolactin, the hormone chiefly responsible for fertility and breast milk production in women. Since its prolactin content stimulates the immune system's T-lympocytes, Bromocriptine has been used to inhibit the immune system of patients who undergo organ transplants.

Bromocriptine also reduces the levels of hormonal growth in the body. It mimics the action of dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical in the body. This makes it ideal for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, a condition characterized by low dopamine levels in the brain, including its accompanying symptoms of stiffness, spasms, tremors and poor muscle control.

Other indications for Bromocriptine include treatment of neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a condition where tumors occur in men and women, and cocaine addiction.

Before undergoing Bromocriptine therapy, patients should inform their doctor if they are allergic to the drug or to any other medication, particularly erythromycin, levodopa, hypertension medicines, drugs for headaches or depression, decongestants, albuterol, terbutaline, oral contraceptives, tranquilizers, and any vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement.

Patients who have had kidney, heart or liver disease, a history of heart attack, angina (chest pain), any incidence of mental illness or circulatory problems in the fingers during cold weather should tell their doctor before starting Bromocriptine treatment. These conditions may warrant a lower dosage of medication and constant monitoring during the course of treatment.

On the other hand, the effects of Bromocriptine are negated by phenothiazine medications like chloropromazine, thioridazine, mesoridazine, perphenazine and fluphenazine. These may necessitate an increase in Bromocriptine dosage.

Female patients should also let their doctor know if they are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or get pregnant during treatment. Although Bromocriptine has been classified by the FDA under pregnancy Category B, which makes it unlikely to be harmful to the fetus, Bromocriptine should only be taken if the benefits far outweigh any potential risks it may pose to an unborn baby. As Bromocriptine can stop lactation, breastfeeding is not encouraged while under treatment.

Women taking Bromocriptine for amenorrhea, and who do not wish to become pregnant, will need to use a different method of birth control other than oral contraceptives, as this method may cause delays menstrual period.

Since Bromocriptine can cause low blood pressure and drowsiness, patients under medication should refrain from sitting up or rising abruptly, driving a vehicle, operating any type of machinery or imbibing alcoholic beverages, which may exacerbate dizziness and lightheadedness.

If patients are taking the medication for the treatment of high levels of prolactin that are caused by tumors, they should let their doctor know immediately if they start experiencing constant watery nasal discharges.

Although Bromocriptine can cause mild temporary side effects as the body adjusts to the medication, patients should inform their doctor if they start to experience severe and persistent side effects like dizziness, stomach upset, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue, insomnia, vomiting or constipation. It may become a cause for concern if the patient starts to exhibit tinging and swelling of feet or ankles, bloody vomit, fainting, nightmares, fast or irregular heartbeat, confusion, involuntary twitching movements, vision changes, depression, and a watery nasal discharge. These conditions warrant immediate medical attention.

Bromocriptine is manufactured under the brand name Parlodel, and is available by prescription in 2.5mg round white tablets, and 5mg white caramel capsules. It should be taken as directed by the doctor, usually several times a day with meals, depending on the patient's condition. Patients are advised not to suddenly stop taking Bromocriptine without informing their doctor, as immediate cessation of the drug may only make their condition worse.

Bromocriptine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of bromocriptine

• Molecular formula of bromocriptine is C32H40BrN5O5
Bromocriptine available : 5mg capsules, 2.5mg tablets

Brand name(s): Alti-Bromocriptine, Apo-Bromocriptine, Bagren, Parlodel, Pravidel

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