"High cholesterol levels may impair fertility in couples trying to achieve a pregnancy, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the University at Buffalo (New York), and Emory University in Atlanta.
Since hyperprolactinemia with amenorrhea/galactorrhea and infertility has been found in patients with pituitary tumors, a complete evaluation of the pituitary is indicated before treatment with Parlodel® (bromocriptine mesylate).
If pregnancy occurs during Parlodel administration, careful observation of these patients is mandatory. Prolactin-secreting adenomas may expand and compression of the optic or other cranial nerves may occur, emergency pituitary surgery becoming necessary. In most cases, the compression resolves following delivery. Reinitiation of Parlodel treatment has been reported to produce improvement in the visual fields of patients in whom nerve compression has occurred during pregnancy. The safety of Parlodel treatment during pregnancy to the mother and fetus has not been established.
Parlodel has been associated with somnolence, and episodes of sudden sleep onset, particularly in patients with Parkinson's disease. Sudden onset of sleep during daily activities, in some cases without awareness or warning signs, has been reported. Patients must be informed of this and advised not to drive or operate machines during treatment with bromocriptine. Patients who have experienced somnolence and/or an episode of sudden sleep onset must not drive or operate machines. Furthermore, a reduction of dosage or termination of therapy may be considered.
Symptomatic hypotension can occur in patients treated with Parlodel for any indication. In postpartum studies with Parlodel, decreases in supine systolic and diastolic pressures of greater than 20 mm and 10 mm Hg, respectively, have been observed in almost 30% of patients receiving Parlodel. On occasion, the drop in supine systolic pressure was as much as 50-59 mm of Hg.
Since, especially during the first days of treatment, hypotensive reactions may occasionally occur and result in reduced alertness, particular care should be exercised when driving a vehicle or operating machinery.
While hypotension during the start of therapy with Parlodel occurs in some patients, in rare cases serious adverse events, including hypertension, myocardial infarction, seizures, stroke, have been reported in postpartum women treated with Parlodel. Hypertension have been reported, sometimes at the initiation of therapy, but often developing in the second week of therapy; seizures have also been reported both with and without the prior development of hypertension; stroke have been reported mostly in postpartum patients whose prenatal and obstetric courses had been uncomplicated. Many of these patients experiencing seizures (including cases of status epilepticus) and/or strokes reported developing a constant and often progressively severe headache hours to days prior to the acute event. Some cases of strokes and seizures were also preceded by visual disturbances (blurred vision, and transient cortical blindness). Cases of acute myocardial infarction have also been reported
Although a causal relationship between Parlodel administration and hypertension, seizures, strokes, and myocardial infarction in postpartum women has not been established, use of the drug in patients with uncontrolled hypertension is not recommended. In patients being treated for hyperprolactinemia, Parlodel should be withdrawn when pregnancy is diagnosed (see PRECAUTIONS, Hyperprolactinemic States). In the event that Parlodel is reinstituted to control a rapidly expanding macroadenoma (see PRECAUTIONS, Hyperprolactinemic States) and a patient experiences a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, the benefit of continuing Parlodel must be weighed against the possible risk of its use during a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. When Parlodel is being used to treat acromegaly or Parkinson's disease in patients who subsequently become pregnant, a decision should be made as to whether the therapy continues to be medically necessary or can be withdrawn. If it is continued, the drug should be withdrawn in those who may experience hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (including eclampsia, preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension) unless withdrawal of Parlodel is considered to be medically contraindicated. Because of the possibility of an interaction between Parlodel and other ergot alkaloids, the concomitant use of these medications is not recommended. Periodic monitoring of the blood pressure, particularly during the first weeks of therapy is prudent. If hypertension, severe, progressive, or unremitting headache (with or without visual disturbance), or evidence of CNS toxicity develops, drug therapy should be discontinued and the patient should be evaluated promptly. Particular attention should be paid to patients who have recently been treated or are on concomitant therapy with drugs that can alter blood pressure. Their concomitant use in the puerperium is not recommended.
Among patients on Parlodel, particularly on long-term and high-dose treatment, pleural and pericardial effusions, as well as pleural and pulmonary fibrosis and constrictive pericarditis, have been reported. Patients with unexplained pleuropulmonary disorders should be examined thoroughly and discontinuation of Parlodel therapy should be considered. In those instances in which Parlodel treatment was terminated, the changes slowly reverted towards normal.
In a few patients on Parlodel, particularly on long-term and high-dose treatment, retroperitoneal fibrosis has been reported. To ensure recognition of retroperitoneal fibrosis at an early reversible stage it is recommended that its manifestations (e.g., back pain, edema of the lower limbs, impaired kidney function) should be watched in this category of patients. Parlodel medication should be withdrawn if fibrotic changes in the retroperitoneum are diagnosed or suspected.
Safety and efficacy of Parlodel® (bromocriptine mesylate) have not been established in patients with renal or hepatic disease. Care should be exercised when administering Parlodel therapy concomitantly with other medications known to lower blood pressure.
The drug should be used with caution in patients with a history of psychosis or cardiovascular disease. If acromegalic patients or patients with prolactinoma or Parkinson's disease are being treated with Parlodel during pregnancy, they should be cautiously observed, particularly during the postpartum period if they have a history of cardiovascular disease.
Visual field impairment is a known complication of macroprolactinoma. Effective treatment with Parlodel leads to a reduction in hyperprolactinemia and often to a resolution of the visual impairment. In some patients, however, a secondary deterioration of visual fields may subsequently develop despite normalized prolactin levels and tumor shrinkage, which may result from traction on the optic chiasm which is pulled down into the now partially empty sella. In these cases, the visual field defect may improve on reduction of bromocriptine dosage while there is some elevation of prolactin and some tumor re-expansion. Monitoring of visual fields in patients with macroprolactinoma is therefore recommended for an early recognition of secondary field loss due to chiasmal herniation and adaptation of drug dosage.
The relative efficacy of Parlodel versus surgery in preserving visual fields is not known. Patients with rapidly progressive visual field loss should be evaluated by a neurosurgeon to help decide on the most appropriate therapy.
Since pregnancy is often the therapeutic objective in many hyperprolactinemic patients presenting with amenorrhea/galactorrhea and hypogonadism (infertility), a careful assessment of the pituitary is essential to detect the presence of a prolactin-secreting adenoma. Patients not seeking pregnancy, or those harboring large adenomas, should be advised to use contraceptive measures, other than oral contraceptives, during treatment with Parlodel. Since pregnancy may occur prior to reinitiation of menses, a pregnancy test is recommended at least every 4 weeks during the amenorrheic period, and, once menses are reinitiated, every time a patient misses a menstrual period. Treatment with Parlodel SnapTabs® or capsules should be discontinued as soon as pregnancy has been established. Patients must be monitored closely throughout pregnancy for signs and symptoms that may signal the enlargement of a previously undetected or existing prolactin-secreting tumor. Discontinuation of Parlodel treatment in patients with known macroadenomas has been associated with rapid regrowth of tumor and increase in serum prolactin in most cases.
Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea has been observed in some patients with prolactin-secreting adenomas treated with Parlodel.
Cold-sensitive digital vasospasm has been observed in some acromegalic patients treated with Parlodel. The response, should it occur, can be reversed by reducing the dose of Parlodel and may be prevented by keeping the fingers warm. Cases of severe gastrointestinal bleeding from peptic ulcers have been reported, some fatal. Although there is no evidence that Parlodel increases the incidence of peptic ulcers in acromegalic patients, symptoms suggestive of peptic ulcer should be investigated thoroughly and treated appropriately. Patients with a history of peptic ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding should be observed carefully during treatment with Parlodel.
Possible tumor expansion while receiving Parlodel therapy has been reported in a few patients. Since the natural history of growth hormone-secreting tumors is unknown, all patients should be carefully monitored and, if evidence of tumor expansion develops, discontinuation of treatment and alternative procedures considered.
Safety during long-term use for more than 2 years at the doses required for parkinsonism has not been established.
As with any chronic therapy, periodic evaluation of hepatic, hematopoietic, cardiovascular, and renal function is recommended. Symptomatic hypotension can occur and, therefore, caution should be exercised when treating patients receiving antihypertensive drugs.
High doses of Parlodel may be associated with confusion and mental disturbances. Since parkinsonian patients may manifest mild degrees of dementia, caution should be used when treating such patients.
Parlodel administered alone or concomitantly with levodopa may cause hallucinations (visual or auditory). Hallucinations usually resolve with dosage reduction; occasionally, discontinuation of Parlodel is required. Rarely, after high doses, hallucinations have persisted for several weeks following discontinuation of Parlodel.
Postmarketing reports suggest that patients treated with anti-Parkinson medications can experience intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, intense urges to spend money uncontrollably, and other intense urges. Patients may be unable to control these urges while taking one or more of the medications that are generally used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and that increase central dopaminergic tone, including Parlodel. In some cases, although not all, these urges were reported to have stopped when the dose was reduced or the medication was discontinued. Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal it is important for prescribers to specifically ask patients or their caregivers about the development of new or increased gambling urges, sexual urges, uncontrolled spending or other urges while being treated with Parlodel. Physicians should consider dose reduction or stopping the medication if a patient develops such urges while taking Parlodel.
As with levodopa, caution should be exercised when administering Parlodel to patients with a history of myocardial infarction who have a residual atrial, nodal, or ventricular arrhythmia.
Retroperitoneal fibrosis has been reported in a few patients receiving long-term therapy (2-10 years) with Parlodel in doses ranging from 30-140 mg daily.
Epidemiological studies have shown that patients with Parkinson's disease have a higher risk (2approximately 6-fold higher) of developing melanoma than the general population. Whether the increased risk observed was due to Parkinson's disease or other factors, such as drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, is unclear. For the reasons stated above, patients and providers are advised to monitor for melanomas frequently and on a regular basis when using Parlodel for any indication. Ideally, periodic skin examinations should be performed by appropriately qualified individuals (e.g. dermatologists).
Discontinuation of Parlodel should be undertaken gradually whenever possible, even if the patient is to remain on L-dopa. A symptom complex resembling the neuroleptic malignant syndrome (characterized by elevated temperature, muscular rigidity, altered consciousness, and autonomic instability), with no other obvious etiology, has been reported in association with rapid dose reduction, withdrawal of, or changes in antiparkinsonian therapy.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
A 74-week study was conducted in mice using dietary levels of bromocriptine mesylate equivalent to oral doses of 10 and 50 mg/kg/day. A 100-week study in rats was conducted using dietary levels equivalent to oral doses of 1.7, 9.8, and 44 mg/kg/day. The highest doses tested in mice and rats were approximately 2.5 and 4.4 times, respectively, the maximum human dose administered in controlled clinical trials (100 mg/day) based on body surface area. Malignant uterine tumors, endometrial and myometrial were found in rats as follows: 0/50 control females, 2/50 females given 1.7 mg/kg daily, 7/49 females given 9.8 mg/kg daily, and 9/50 females given 44 mg/kg daily. The occurrence of these neoplasms is probably attributable to the high estrogen/progesterone ratio which occurs in rats as a result of the prolactin-inhibiting action of bromocriptine mesylate. The endocrine mechanisms believed to be involved in the rats are not present in humans. There is no known correlation between uterine malignancies occurring in bromocriptine-treated rats and human risk. In contrast to the findings in rats, the uteri from mice killed after 74 weeks of treatment did not exhibit evidence of drug-related changes.
Bromocriptine mesylate was evaluated for mutagenic potential in the battery of tests that included Ames bacterial mutation assay, mutagenic activity in vitro on V79 Chinese hamster fibroblasts, cytogenetic analysis of Chinese hamster bone marrow cells following in vivo treatment, and an in vivo micronucleus test for mutagenic potential in mice.
No mutagenic effects were obtained in any of these tests.
Fertility and reproductive performance in female rats were not influenced adversely by treatment with bromocriptine beyond the predicted decrease in the weight of pups due to suppression of lactation. In males treated with 50 mg/kg of this drug, mating and fertility were within the normal range. Increased perinatal loss was produced in the subgroups of dams, sacrificed on day 21 postpartum (p.p.) after mating with males treated with the highest dose (50 mg/kg).
Category B: Administration of 10-30 mg/kg of bromocriptine to 2 strains of rats on days 6-15 postcoitum (p.c.) as well as a single dose of 10 mg/kg on day 5 p.c. interfered with nidation. Three mg/kg given on days 6-15 were without effect on nidation, and did not produce any anomalies. In animals treated from day 8-15 p.c., i.e., after implantation, 30 mg/kg produced increased prenatal mortality in the form of increased incidence of embryonic resorption. One anomaly, aplasia of spinal vertebrae and ribs, was found in the group of 262 fetuses derived from the dams treated with 30 mg/kg bromocriptine. No fetotoxic effects were found in offspring of dams treated during the peri- or postnatal period.
Two studies were conducted in rabbits (2 strains) to determine the potential to interfere with nidation. Dose levels of 100 or 300 mg/kg/day from day 1 to day 6 p.c. did not adversely affect nidation. The high dose was approximately 63 times the maximum human dose administered in controlled clinical trials (100 mg/day), based on body surface area. In New Zealand white rabbits, some embryo mortality occurred at 300 mg/kg which was a reflection of overt maternal toxicity. Three studies were conducted in 2 strains of rabbits to determine the teratological potential of bromocriptine at dose levels of 3, 10, 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg given from day 6 to day 18 p.c. In 2 studies with the Yellow-silver strain, cleft palate was found in 3 and 2 fetuses at maternally toxic doses of 100 and 300 mg/kg, respectively. One control fetus also exhibited this anomaly. In the third study conducted with New Zealand white rabbits using an identical protocol, no cleft palates were produced.
No teratological or embryotoxic effects of bromocriptine were produced in any of 6 offspring from 6 monkeys at a dose level of 2 mg/kg.
Information concerning 1276 pregnancies in women taking Parlodel has been collected. In the majority of cases, Parlodel was discontinued within 8 weeks into pregnancy (mean 28.7 days), however, 8 patients received the drug continuously throughout pregnancy. The mean daily dose for all patients was 5.8 mg (range 1-40 mg).
Of these 1276 pregnancies, there were 1088 full-term deliveries (4 stillborn), 145 spontaneous abortions (11.4%), and 28 induced abortions (2.2%). Moreover, 12 extrauterine gravidities and 3 hydatidiform moles (twice in the same patient) caused early termination of pregnancy. These data compare favorably with the abortion rate (11%-25%) cited for pregnancies induced by clomiphene citrate, menopausal gonadotropin, and chorionic gonadotropin.
Although spontaneous abortions often go unreported, especially prior to 20 weeks of gestation, their frequency has been estimated to be 15%.
The incidence of birth defects in the population at large ranges from 2%-4.5%. The incidence in 1109 live births from patients receiving bromocriptine is 3.3%.
There is no suggestion that Parlodel contributed to the type or incidence of birth defects in this group of infants.
Parlodel should not be used during lactation in postpartum women.
The safety and effectiveness of bromocriptine for the treatment of prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas have been established in patients age 16 to adult. No data are available for bromocriptine use in pediatric patients under the age of 8 years. A single 8-year-old patient treated with bromocriptine for a prolactin-secreting pituitary macroadenoma has been reported without therapeutic response.
The use of bromocriptine for the treatment of prolactin-secreting adenomas in pediatric patients in the age group 11 to under 16 years is supported by evidence from well-controlled trials in adults, with additional data in a limited number (n=14) of children and adolescents 11 to 15 years of age with prolactin-secreting pituitary macro- and microadenomas who have been treated with bromocriptine. Of the 14 reported patients, 9 had successful outcomes, 3 partial responses, and 2 failed to respond to bromocriptine treatment. Chronic hypopituitarism complicated macroadenoma treatment in 5 of the responders, both in patients receiving bromocriptine alone and in those who received bromocriptine in combination with surgical treatment and/or pituitary irradiation.
Safety and effectiveness of bromocriptine in pediatric patients have not been established for any other indication listed in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.
Clinical studies for Parlodel did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether the elderly respond differently from younger subjects. However, other reported clinical experiences, including postmarketing reporting of adverse events, have not identified differences in response or tolerability between elderly and younger patients. Even though no variation in efficacy or adverse reaction profile in geriatric patients taking Parlodel has been observed, greater sensitivity of some elderly individuals cannot be categorically ruled out. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, starting at the lower end of the dose range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy in this population.
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/17/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Parlodel Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Trying to Conceive
Get tips and advances in treatment.