Tuesday, August 14, 2018 by Ralph Flores
Bromocriptine (brand name: Parlodel) is a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It is also used to treat high levels of prolactin (which can result in nipple discharge and lack of menstrual periods), as well as prolactin-secreting tumors. It is also prescribed to treat a pituitary condition called acromegaly.
Bromocriptine is not suitable for women who are breastfeeding, and it weakens the efficacy of birth control medication. It is not recommended to take any drugs or vitamins while under bromocriptine, especially those that treat mental disorders, mood swings, and gut problems.
Known health risks or side effects of bromocriptine
Taking bromocriptine can cause lightheadedness and dizziness, especially when getting up after being seated or lying down. Nausea is another reported side effect of bromocriptine.
Meanwhile, adverse effects that are usually reported by patients with Parkinson’s disease include confusion, breaks from reality (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there), and even involuntary movements of the face and upper body.
If a patient has been using bromocriptine for an extended period, the following symptoms may be observed.
- The need to urinate more often
- Continued loss of appetite
- Lower back pain
- A persistent runny nose
- Chronic gastric pain
- Severe weakness
In extremely rare cases, the following cases are likely upon taking bromocriptine.
- Black and tarry stools
- Persistent vomiting – can sometimes contain blood
- Blurry vision or temporary blindness
- Increased sweating and rapid heartbeat, sometimes accompanied by acute chest pain
- Unusual headaches
If the following are observed, get medical treatment:
- Extreme agitation and anxiety
- Blue or unusually pale skin
- Migrating chest pain – usually moves to the left arm, neck, and shoulder
- Chills and a very high fever
- Difficulties in breathing or speaking
- Subscribing to false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
- Either high or low blood pressure
- Inability to move the limbs and facial muscles, as well as speech
- Loss of bladder control and increased urination
- Severe back pain and muscle stiffness
- Slow speech and tiredness
- Troubled breathing patterns – quick and shallow
List of organs that might be affected by bromocriptine
Bromocriptine may not be suitable for people with certain conditions. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional regarding the drug if a patient has experienced (or is currently under) the following conditions.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with hypertension, including women with pre-eclampsia
- People with cardiovascular diseases, stomach ulcers, or liver problems
- Those with Raynaud’s syndrome or porphyria
- People with severe mental problems like a psychotic disorder
- Those taking other medication (including OTCs) and with an allergy to any drug
Food items or nutrients that can manage the side effects of bromocriptine
Certain foods can regulate some side effects of bromocriptine, in particular, its effect on a patient’s blood pressure. These include:
- Saltwater. Those who suffer from hypotension can mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and drink it to increase blood pressure. However, this should be done sparingly as increased salt intake can be unhealthy.
- Coffee. Patients who suffer from low blood pressure can take a cup of strong coffee in the morning to regulate low blood pressure.
- Raisins. In Ayurveda, raisins are used to naturally cure hypotension.
- Holy basil. Aside from normalizing blood pressure, it’s also rich in essential vitamins and can reduce the effects of stress.
- Licorice root. The herb remedies abnormal blood pressure and treats extreme lethargy and even chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Beetroot juice. Raw beetroot juice can manage both hyper- and hypotension.
Treatment and management options for side effects of bromocriptine
The following treatments are advised to manage the side effects of bromocriptine.
- Avoid taking hot showers and baths – This can make people prone to dizziness and increase the risk of fall injuries.
- Go for a massage – This activates the body’s acupuncture points, allowing it to relax and treat itself. It also induces a sense of calm to help with some side effects.
- Pick a focal point – Upon feeling the initial side effects of bromocriptine, focus your eyes on a stationary piece of furniture. This will help normalize blood pressure and reduce nausea and dizziness associated with bromocriptine use.
Where to learn more
Bromocriptine is a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Bromocriptine may not be suitable for people with certain conditions.
Bromocriptine is not suitable for women who are breastfeeding, and it weakens the efficacy of birth control medication.