What is Bromocriptine Mesylate?
Bromocriptine mesylate is a medication prescribed for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease as well as a variety of issues stemming from the overproduction of the hormone prolactin within an individual’s body, including any tumors that are contributing to the overproduction of this hormone. It may also be used for the treatment of acromegaly and type 2 diabetes.
How is Bromocriptine Mesylate Used?
Bromocriptine mesylate is an oral medication that is taken with food either once or twice per day. It is recommended that the medication be taken at the same time each day for maximum efficacy and a reduced chance of experiencing side effects from fluctuating amounts of medication in the patient’s system.
When used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the prescribed dosage of bromocriptine mesylate should be taken only once per day with food, and most doctors will instruct their patients using bromocriptine mesylate for this condition to take this medication within two hours of waking up for the day.
The patient’s prescribing physician will determine the appropriate dosage based on the condition for which it has been prescribed, and patients should stick to their doctor’s instructions regarding the frequency and dosing size of the medication for their specific medical circumstances.
This medication may cause patients to experience withdrawal symptoms if it is stopped abruptly. The use of bromocriptine mesylate for treatment should not be stopped without the patient first consulting their physician. If a patient needs to stop using this medication, the dosage will often be lowered gradually to prevent significant adverse effects, such as confusion, depression, anxiety, muscle stiffness, and fever. Those who have used this medication in higher doses than the average patient or that have used this medication for a long period are most at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping bromocriptine mesylate.
Bromocriptine mesylate, both the capsule and tablet forms, should be stored away from light, heat, and moisture. This medication should be kept at room temperature.
Keep this medication out of the reach of children at all times.
If you are done taking bromocriptine mesylate for treatment and need to dispose of the medication, please ask your pharmacist for more information regarding proper disposal procedures for this medication. When disposing of bromocriptine mesylate, do not flush the medication or pour it down any drains unless otherwise directed to do so.
Bromocriptine mesylate is prescribed for a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Diabetic coma (for those with type 2 diabetes)
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (for those with type 2 diabetes)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Parkinson’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Bromocriptine mesylate should not be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.
How Does Bromocriptine Mesylate Work?
Bromocriptine mesylate is an ergot derivative medication that functions in multiple ways depending upon which condition it has been prescribed to treat.
The version of bromocriptine mesylate that may also be marketed as the name-brand drug Parlodel is formulated to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, acromegaly, and various conditions associated with the overproduction of prolactin. This formulation of bromocriptine mesylate works by stimulating dopamine receptors in the patient’s brain to alleviate or reduce some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by reducing the amount of prolactin produced within the patient’s body to treat the associated hormonal issues and conditions that this overproduction may cause and by reducing the amount of growth hormone present in those who are being treated for acromegaly.
When bromocriptine mesylate is formulated to match its name-brand counterpart, Cycloset, it functions by boosting the patient’s dopamine levels to improve the individual’s ability to manage the conversion of blood sugar into energy more effectively. In most individuals with type 2 diabetes, low dopamine levels contribute to their condition, and bromocriptine mesylate boosts this chemical to provide higher levels of dopamine that assist in managing the blood sugar imbalances and associated symptoms.
This medication will often be prescribed at the lowest possible dose considered effective for each patient based on the condition for which it has been prescribed.
Bromocriptine mesylate is available in the following forms and dosages:
- 5 mg tablet
- 1 mg tablet
- 2 mg tablet
- 8 mg capsules
Other forms of this medication may be available. Patients who have any questions about the form or dosage of their bromocriptine mesylate should consult their pharmacist or prescribing physician for further clarification.
Some of the other names used for this medication include the following:
Patients using bromocriptine mesylate for the treatment of acromegaly are commonly prescribed a dose of 1.25 mg up to 2.5 mg per day to be taken for three days when they go to bed in the evenings. This dosage will then be gradually increased based on the patient’s ability to tolerate the medication until they reach a maintenance dose of 20 mg to 30 mg per day.
Adults being treated for Parkinson’s disease will often be prescribed a dosage of 0.5 mg up to 2 mg of bromocriptine mesylate per day. The exact dosage will vary based on whether their condition is idiopathic or postencephalitic, and it may also be administered once per day in the evenings or split between equal doses that are 6 to 12 hours apart. Older patients may only require 0.5 mg of bromocriptine mesylate once or twice per day for treatment, and this medication is often advised against for this age group due to side effects. Please refer to the specific instructions provided by your doctor when taking this medication for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Patients using bromocriptine mesylate for hyperprolactinemia will typically be prescribed a daily dose of 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg when first starting this medication, gradually increasing the dosage weekly to reach an appropriate maintenance dose of this medication ranging between 2.5 mg to 15 mg daily.
When bromocriptine mesylate is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is most commonly prescribed in a once-daily dose of 0.8 mg.
For pediatric patients that need to use bromocriptine mesylate for the treatment of hyperprolactinemia, children between the ages of 11 and 16 will begin with an initial dose of 1.25 mg up to 2.5 mg once per day, gradually increasing the dosage up to a maintenance dose of 2.5 mg to 10 mg daily. Those between the ages of 16 and 18 will begin with a daily dose of 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg and increase their intake gradually to reach a maintenance dose between 2.5 mg up to 15 mg per day.
Patients should never exceed 100 mg of bromocriptine mesylate per day.
If you have overdosed on bromocriptine mesylate or suspect that you may have taken too much of this medication, contact your local Poison Control Center or doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of an overdose of bromocriptine mesylate may include the following:
- excessive yawning
- feeling drowsy
- feelings of uneasiness or general discomfort
- paleness of the skin
If you or someone else has taken too much of this medication and experiences difficulty breathing, seizures, or collapsing without being able to be woken up, seek out emergency medical assistance immediately.
The most common side effects of taking bromocriptine mesylate are as follows and should be discussed with your doctor if they remain persistent or increase in severity while taking bromocriptine mesylate:
- abdominal cramps
- loss of appetite
- sleep disturbances (difficulty falling or staying asleep)
Please contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- black, tarry stools
- blurred vision
- chest pain
- headache (severe)
- limb weakness
- numbness in the limbs
- pain in the jaw, back, neck, or arms
- shortness of breath
- speech difficulties
- swelling of the lower legs, feet, or ankles
- visual impairment
- vomit with blood in it
- vomit that looks like coffee grounds
Warnings & Precautions
Bromocriptine mesylate comes with several health risks for those using this medication for the treatment of their condition. Please discuss any preexisting health conditions, family medical history, current medications and herbal supplements, and any other relevant medical information with your physician before beginning treatment with this medication.
Due to the common side effects of drowsiness and dizziness that occur when taking bromocriptine mesylate, it is strongly advised that patients using this medication do not consume alcohol or that they significantly limit their intake as much as possible. Consuming alcohol can worsen the symptoms of impairment caused by bromocriptine mesylate. Patients using this medication should exercise caution when operating machinery or vehicles, as well as engaging in any other activities that require focus and attention to perform safely.
This medication is known to worsen cardiovascular symptoms in patients using this drug for treatment. If you have any preexisting cardiovascular conditions or other related symptoms, please inform your doctor before beginning treatment with bromocriptine mesylate. Those with a history of cardiovascular disease are at risk of experiencing a worsening of their condition when treated with bromocriptine mesylate.
When successfully used in the treatment of acromegaly and prolactin-related conditions, bromocriptine mesylate is capable of restoring a patient’s fertility. Due to this effect of using the medication, any patients not desiring to become pregnant after their fertility has been restored should exercise caution when engaging in sexual activities and should consider using non-hormonal forms of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy from occurring.
Individuals who have difficulties with absorbing certain sugars, a severe lactase deficiency, or galactose intolerance should not be prescribed bromocriptine mesylate. Bromocriptine increases a patient’s insulin sensitivity, and those who already experience impaired absorption of certain sugars are at risk of serious side effects if they consume this type of medication.
Preexisting Psychological Conditions
Bromocriptine mesylate has been associated with the worsening of certain psychotic conditions. Individuals who have experienced psychosis or are currently being treated for any preexisting mental health conditions, especially those of a psychotic nature, should discuss this with their physician before beginning treatment with this medication.
Pregnancy and Nursing
Bromocriptine mesylate should not be used during pregnancy, and patients being treated with this medication should avoid becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, its use should be discontinued. A different dosing amount of bromocriptine mesylate may be deemed both safe and appropriate for use in certain individuals that are pregnant and have a macroadenoma, but the risks and benefits should be discussed with the patient’s doctor.
Individuals who have just given birth are advised against taking this medication due to the risks posed by the confirmed side effects of psychosis, an increased stroke risk, high blood pressure, an increased risk of seizures, and an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack.
Bromocriptine mesylate is not recommended for those who are actively nursing due to its ability to pass into breastmilk and result in side effects occurring in the child who received the breastmilk.
Additional Medical Conditions
If you have any of the following medical conditions, exercise caution when taking bromocriptine mesylate and discuss your medical history with your doctor before beginning this medication:
- blood flow problems
- coronary artery disease
- galactose intolerance
- glucose-galactose malabsorption
- heart attack
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- intestinal issues (e.g., bleeding)
- irregular heartbeat
- mental health conditions
- lactase deficiency
- liver disease
- low blood pressure
- peripheral vascular disease
- pregnancy (recent)
- Raynaud’s disease
- stomach ulcers
Speak to your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking before beginning treatment with bromocriptine mesylate. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or a trusted pharmacist.
The following medications are known to interact with bromocriptine mesylate:
- certain antibiotics
- ergot-related medications
- protease inhibitors
- psychiatric medications
For patients who are unable to take bromocriptine mesylate or experiencing significant adverse side effects, alternative medications may be used to treat some of the associated conditions for which this medication is commonly prescribed:
- cabergoline (Dostinex)
- lisuride (Dopergin)
- quinagolide (Norprolac)
Most of the alternatives that may be utilized for the treatment of the same conditions for which bromocriptine mesylate may be prescribed are bromocriptine-based, similar medications.
If you are struggling to cope with the side effects of bromocriptine mesylate or are unable to take the medication, please discuss any concerns with your doctor to find a suitable alternative.
Frequently Asked Questions