Generic Name(s): bromocriptine
Drug Class: Prolactin inhibitors
Parlodel is an ergot medication used in the treatment of a number of medical illnesses, including women infertility, growth hormone overproduction that results to acromegaly, and Parkinson's disease. Parlodel inhibits prolactin secretion from the pituitary gland and mimics dopamine action. Parlodel treats various conditions resulting from hormone imbalance where there is excess prolactin in the blood (hyperprolactinemia).
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Parlodel is used with other drugs or alone in the treatment of Parkinson's disease because it helps in improving one's ability for movement and reduces, slowed movement, stiffness, shakiness and unsteadiness. Parlodel can also reduce the number of times one cannot move (on-off syndrome). Parlodel is also used in the treatment of hormonal problems resulting from high levels of prolactin in the body. Such problems are characterized by difficulty becoming pregnant, decreased sexual ability, unwanted breast milk, decreased sperm production, missed/stopped periods.
Parlodel works by blocking prolactin release from the pituitary gland Parlodel can also be used alone or with other drugs to reduce, high growth hormone levels (acromegaly) because it works by lowering growth hormone levels in patients who have acromegaly. Parlodel can also be used in treating prolactin-secreting tumors because it can work to reduce the size of the tumor before surgery or in controlling the symptoms until other treatments start working.
- Parkinson's disease
- Hormonal problems induced by high levels of prolactation
Parlodel should be taken by mouth with food, normally once or twice every day as instructed by a medical doctor. The treatment may be started at a lower dose and gradually increased to find the best dose for a patient. Patients are advised to lie down immediately after taking their first dose because this medication causes dizziness after taking the first dose.
- For Parkinson's disease, Parlodel should be taken two times a day with food and the doctor should adjust the patient's dose based on the patient's symptoms. The doctor can direct the patient to lower levodopa dose after the start of Parlodel.
- For high prolactin levels, Parlodel should be taken once a day with food during bedtime. It may take up to a year before a patient realizes the full benefit of Parlodel, and it may take 6-8 weeks for high prolactin effects to decrease.
- For acromegaly, Parlodel should be taken once a day with food during bedtime. The doctor needs to monitor the patient's growth hormone levels and adjust the dose as necessary.
Parlodel Side Effects
Parlodel can cause some side effects, and if common side effects worsen or become persistent, then the patient should seek emergency help.
Common side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Headache Serious side effects
- Mental mood changes such as restlessness, confusion, depression, hallucinations
- Unusual strong urges (such as increased sexual urges, increased gambling)
- Constant water discharge from the nose
- Tingling/numbness of hands/feet
- Back pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Swelling of the ankles, legs or feet
- Change in urine amount
- Stomach pain
- Cold/slightly blue toes/fingers
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Persistent or severe headache
- Weakness on one part of the body
- Vision problems
- Vomiting that resemble coffee grounds
- Black/bloody/tarry stools
- Painful/difficult breathing
- Slurred speech
- Serious allergic reaction
In some cases, people taking Parlodel have fallen asleep suddenly during normal activities. The risk is increased with the usage of alcohol. Patients should discuss this effect with the doctor Patients can also develop a sudden drop in blood pressure, which mostly happens when a patient is starting the Parlodel dosage
Drug interactions can alter how Parlodel works and increase a patient's risk for serious side effects. Some products that can interact with Parlodel include:
- High blood pressure drugs (such as reserpine, methyldopa)
- Beta blockers such as propranolol or metoprolol
- Nitrates (such as nitroglycerin)
- triptans' (such as frovatriptan, sumatriptan)
- Antipsychotic drugs (pimozide, haloperidol)
- Ergot alkalides (such as ergonovine)
Other medications can affect Parlodel removal from the body, and, therefore, can affect how Parlodel works. Examples are: