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Parlodel Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Parlodel (bromocriptine mesylate) is used to treat certain conditions caused by a hormone imbalance in which there is too much prolactin in the blood (hyperprolactinemia), and to treat these disorders when they are caused by brain tumors that can produce prolactin. Parlodel is sometimes used with surgery or radiation to treat acromegaly, and it is also used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as stiffness, tremors, muscle spasms, and poor muscle control. It is in a group of drugs called dopamine receptor agonists. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include mild headache, dizziness, tired feeling, mild drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, cold feeling or numbness in your fingers, dry mouth, or stuffy nose.
Parlodel should be taken with food. Patients are evaluated to determine the lowest dosage that produces a therapeutic response. Parlodel may interact with metoclopramide, antidepressants, antibiotics, anti-malaria drugs, asthma or allergy medication, cancer medicine, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diabetes medication taken by mouth, ergot medicine, heart or blood pressure medications, heart rhythm medication, HIV or AIDS medications, medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, sedatives or narcotics, or seizure medications. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. Parlodel is not expected to be harmful to a fetus. However, a brain tumor can expand during pregnancy. Hypertension (high blood pressure) can also occur during pregnancy and Parlodel could be dangerous if taken by a pregnant woman with high blood pressure. Parlodel lowers the hormone needed to produce breast milk. Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Our Parlodel (bromocriptine mesylate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Parlodel in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- vision problems, constant runny nose;
- chest pain, pain when you breathe, fast heart rate, rapid breathing, feeling short of breath (especially when lying down);
- back pain, swelling in your ankles or feet, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- confusion, hallucinations, feeling like you might pass out;
- low blood sugar (headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, trouble concentrating);
- muscle movements you cannot control, loss of balance or coordination;
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- dizziness, spinning sensation, mild drowsiness, feeling tired;
- mild headache, depressed mood, sleep problems (insomnia);
- dry mouth, stuffy nose;
- upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation; or
- cold feeling or numbness in your fingers.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Parlodel (Bromocriptine Mesylate)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Parlodel FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Adverse Reactions from Clinical Trials
The incidence of adverse effects is quite high (69%) but these are generally mild to moderate in degree. Therapy was discontinued in approximately 5% of patients because of adverse effects. These in decreasing order of frequency are: nausea (49%), headache (19%), dizziness (17%), fatigue (7%), lightheadedness (5%), vomiting (5%), abdominal cramps (4%), nasal congestion (3%), constipation (3%), diarrhea (3%) and drowsiness (3%).
A slight hypotensive effect may accompany Parlodel® (bromocriptine mesylate) treatment. The occurrence of adverse reactions may be lessened by temporarily reducing dosage to ½ SnapTabs® tablet 2 or 3 times daily. A few cases of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea have been reported in patients receiving Parlodel for treatment of large prolactinomas. This has occurred rarely, usually only in patients who have received previous transsphenoidal surgery, pituitary radiation, or both, and who were receiving Parlodel for tumor recurrence. It may also occur in previously untreated patients whose tumor extends into the sphenoid sinus.
The most frequent adverse reactions encountered in acromegalic patients treated with Parlodel were: nausea (18%), constipation (14%), postural/orthostatic hypotension (6%), anorexia (4%), dry mouth/nasal stuffiness (4%), indigestion/dyspepsia (4%), digital vasospasm (3%), drowsiness/tiredness (3%) and vomiting (2%).
Less frequent adverse reactions (less than 2%) were: gastrointestinal bleeding, dizziness, exacerbation of Raynaud's syndrome, headache and syncope. Rarely (less than 1%) hair loss, alcohol potentiation, faintness, lightheadedness, arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia, decreased sleep requirement, visual hallucinations, lassitude, shortness of breath, bradycardia, vertigo, paresthesia, sluggishness, vasovagal attack, delusional psychosis, paranoia, insomnia, heavy headedness, reduced tolerance to cold, tingling of ears, facial pallor and muscle cramps have been reported.
In clinical trials in which Parlodel was administered with concomitant reduction in the dose of levodopa/carbidopa, the most common newly appearing adverse reactions were: nausea, abnormal involuntary movements, hallucinations, confusion, "on-off'' phenomenon, dizziness, drowsiness, faintness/fainting, vomiting, asthenia, abdominal discomfort, visual disturbance, ataxia, insomnia, depression, hypotension, shortness of breath, constipation, and vertigo.
Less common adverse reactions which may be encountered include: anorexia, anxiety, blepharospasm, dry mouth, dysphagia, edema of the feet and ankles, erythromelalgia, epileptiform seizure, fatigue, headache, lethargy, mottling of skin, nasal stuffiness, nervousness, nightmares, paresthesia, skin rash, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and rarely, signs and symptoms of ergotism such as tingling of fingers, cold feet, numbness, muscle cramps of feet and legs or exacerbation of Raynaud's syndrome.
Abnormalities in laboratory tests may include elevations in blood urea nitrogen, SGOT, SGPT, GGPT, CPK, alkaline phosphatase and uric acid, which are usually transient and not of clinical significance.
Adverse Reactions from Postmarketing Experience
The following adverse reactions have been reported during postapproval use of Parlodel (All Indications Combined). Because adverse reactions from spontaneous reports are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Psychiatric disorders: Confusion, psychomotor agitation/excitation, hallucinations, psychotic disorders, insomnia, libido increase, hypersexuality.
Eye disorders: Visual disturbance, vision blurred.
Ear and labyrinth disorders: Tinnitus.
Vascular disorders: Hypotension, orthostatic hypotension (very rarely leading to syncope), reversible pallor of fingers and toes induced by cold (especially in patients with history of Raynaud's phenomenon)
Gastrointestinal disorders: Nausea, constipation, vomiting, dry mouth, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, retroperitoneal fibrosis, gastrointestinal ulcer, gastrointestinal haemorrhage.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Allergic skin reactions, hair loss.
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Leg cramps.
General disorders and administration site conditions: Fatigue, peripheral edema, a syndrome resembling Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome on abrupt withdrawal of Parlodel (See PRECAUTIONS).
Adverse Events Observed in Other Conditions
(see above WARNINGS)
In postpartum studies with Parlodel, 23 percent of postpartum patients treated had at least 1 side effect, but they were generally mild to moderate in degree. Therapy was discontinued in approximately 3% of patients. The most frequently occurring adverse reactions were: headache (10%), dizziness (8%), nausea (7%), vomiting (3%), fatigue (1.0%), syncope (0.7%), diarrhea (0.4%) and cramps (0.4%). Decreases in blood pressure ( ≥ 20 mm Hg systolic and ≥ 10 mm Hg diastolic) occurred in 28% of patients at least once during the first 3 postpartum days; these were usually of a transient nature. Reports of fainting in the puerperium may possibly be related to this effect. In postmarketing experience in the U.S., serious adverse reactions reported include 72 cases of seizures (including 4 cases of status epilepticus), 30 cases of stroke, and 9 cases of myocardial infarction among postpartum patients. Seizure cases were not necessarily accompanied by the development of hypertension. An unremitting and often progressively severe headache, sometimes accompanied by visual disturbance, often preceded by hours to days many cases of seizure and/or stroke. Most patients had shown no evidence of any of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy including eclampsia, preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension. One stroke case was associated with sagittal sinus thrombosis, and another was associated with cerebral and cerebellar vasculitis. One case of myocardial infarction was associated with unexplained disseminated intravascular coagulation and a second occurred in conjunction with use of another ergot alkaloid. The relationship of these adverse reactions to Parlodel administration has not been established.
In rare cases serious adverse events, including hypertension, myocardial infarction, seizures, stroke, or psychic disorders have been reported in postpartum women treated with Parlodel. In some patients the development of seizures or stroke was preceded by severe headache and/or transient visual disturbances. Although the causal relationship of these events to the drug is uncertain, periodic monitoring of blood pressure is advisable in postpartum women receiving Parlodel. If hypertension, severe, progressive, or unremitting headache (with or without visual disturbances), or evidence of CNS toxicity develop, the administration of Parlodel should be discontinued and the patient should be evaluated promptly.
Particular caution is required in patients who have recently been treated or are on concomitant therapy with drugs that can alter blood pressure, e.g. vasoconstrictors such as sympathomimetics or ergot alkaloids including ergometrine or methylergometrine and their concomitant use in the puerperium is not recommended.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Parlodel (Bromocriptine Mesylate)
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.
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