Parlodel

Generic Name: Bromocriptine mesylate

  • What is Parlodel?

    Parlodel inhibits the secretion of the hormone prolactin from the pituitary gland. It also mimics the action of dopamine, a chemical that is lacking in the brains of those with Parkinson's disease.

    Parlodel is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including: infertility in some women; menstrual problems, such as the abnormal stoppage or absence of flow, with or without excessive production of milk; growth hormone overproduction leading to acromegaly, a condition characterized by an abnormally large skull, jaw, hands, and feet; Parkinson's disease; pituitary gland tumors. Parlodel may also be used for other purposes.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Parlodel?

    Notify your doctor immediately if you develop a severe headache that does not let up or continues to get worse. It could be a warning sign of dangerous reactions, including seizure, stroke, or heart attack.

    Parlodel may cause low blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness and other symptoms, especially when you rise from a sitting or lying down position. Rise slowly and use caution until you know how this medicine affects you.

    If you are taking Parlodel to treat high prolactin levels caused by a tumor, notify your doctor if you experience persistent, watery, nasal discharge.

    Since Parlodel can restore fertility and pregnancy can result, women who do not want to become pregnant should use a "barrier" method of contraception during treatment with Parlodel. Do not use oral contraceptives, as they may prevent Parlodel from working properly.

  • Who should not take Parlodel?

    You should not be using Parlodel if you have high blood pressure that is not under control or if you are pregnant (unless your doctor finds it medically necessary). You should also not take Parlodel if you are allergic to it or to any other drugs containing ergot alkaloids, such as ergotamine with belladonna alkaloids and phenobarbital or caffeine with ergotamine tartrate.

    Women who have severe heart conditions should not use Parlodel after they have had a baby, unless it is medically necessary.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Parlodel?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Parlodel. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have mental problems, any disease of the heart and circulatory system, peptic ulcer, bleeding in the stomach and intestines, have had a heart attack in the past, or have kidney or liver disease.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Parlodel is available as 2.5 milligram (mg) tablets and 5 mg capsules. Dosage information given is for 2.5 mg tablets.

    Adults: Excess Prolactin Hormone. If you are being treated for conditions associated with excess prolactin, such as menstrual problems, with or without excessive milk production, infertility, or pituitary gland tumors, the usual starting dose is one-half to one tablet daily. Your doctor may add a tablet every 3 to 7 days, until the treatment works. The usual long-term dose is 5 to 7.5 mg per day, but it can range from 2.5 to 15 mg per day.

    Children 11 to 15 years old: The usual starting dose is one-half to one tablet daily.

    The safety and effectiveness of Parlodel in pediatric patients have not been established for any other disease state or in children under the age of 8.

    Growth Hormone Overproduction

    Adults: Treatment for the overproduction of growth hormones is usually one-half to 1 tablet with food at bedtime for 3 days. Your doctor may add an additional one-half to 1 tablet every 3 to 7 days until the treatment works. The usual treatment dose varies from 20 to 30 mg per day. The dose should not exceed 100 mg per day. Your doctor will do a monthly re-evaluation.

    Parkinson's Disease

    Adults: Parlodel taken in combination with levodopa may provide additional treatment benefits if you are currently taking high doses of levodopa, are beginning to develop a tolerance to levodopa, or are experiencing "end of dose failure" on levodopa therapy.

    The usual starting dose of Parlodel is one-half tablet twice a day with meals. Your dose will be monitored by your doctor at 2-week intervals. If necessary, your doctor may increase the dose every 14 to 28 days by 1 tablet per day. Doses should not exceed 100 mg per day.

  • How should I take Parlodel?

    You should take Parlodel with food. Take the first dose while lying down. You may faint or become dizzy due to lower blood pressure, especially after you take the first dose.

    You may not feel the full effect of Parlodel for a few weeks. Do not stop taking Parlodel without first checking with your doctor.

  • What should I avoid while taking Parlodel?

    Parlodel may impair your ability to drive a car or operate potentially dangerous machinery. Do not participate in any activities that require full alertness until you are sure how Parlodel affects you.

    Combining alcohol with Parlodel can cause blurred vision, chest pain, pounding heartbeat, throbbing headache, confusion, and other problems. Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking Parlodel.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Parlodel?

    If Parlodel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Parlodel with the following: alcohol; azole antifungals such as ketoconazole and Itraconazole; blood pressure-lowering drugs such as methyldopa and clonidine hydrochloride; butyrophenones such as haloperidol; dopamine antagonists such as chlorpromazine; HIV protease inhibitors such as ritonavir; macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin; metoclopramide; octreotide; oral contraceptives; other ergot derivatives such as ergoloid mesylates; pimozide.
  • What are the possible side effects of Parlodel?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal cramps or discomfort, confusion, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, drowsiness, dry mouth, fainting, fatigue, hallucinations (particularly in Parkinson's patients), headache, inability to sleep, indigestion, light-headedness, loss of appetite, loss of coordination, nasal congestion, nausea, shortness of breath, uncontrolled body movement, vertigo, visual disturbance, vomiting, weakness

    Some of the above side effects are also symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

  • Can I receive Parlodel if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The use of Parlodel during pregnancy should be discussed thoroughly with your doctor. If Parlodel is essential to your treatment, your doctor will carefully monitor you throughout your pregnancy.

    You should not take Parlodel while breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Parlodel?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
  • How should I store Parlodel?

    Store Parlodel at room temperature, away from light, moisture and heat.