Generic Name Brand Name
bromocriptine Parlodel

Bromocriptine is usually taken orally. However, it also comes in a vaginal suppository if the oral form causes nausea.

How It Works

Bromocriptine reduces the body's production of prolactin, a hormone that is involved in breast development.

Why It Is Used

Bromocriptine may be used when breast tenderness is a major symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Bromocriptine is used to treat breast pain, tenderness, and lumpiness that occur with fibrocystic changes. This is an unlabeled use of bromocriptine. Bromocriptine is also used when nipple discharge is caused by a growth on the pituitary gland.

How Well It Works

Bromocriptine can reduce symptoms of cyclic breast pain.

Bromocriptine relieves breast tenderness or pain that occurs with PMS. It does not relieve other PMS symptoms.

Side Effects

Side effects are very common with bromocriptine. Most of the side effects are mild to moderate in severity. They may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Fatigue.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

The side effects of bromocriptine may outweigh the benefit of relieving breast tenderness. Because of this, bromocriptine treatment usually is only used in women who have severe cyclic breast pain that disrupts their lives.

Side effects can be reduced by starting the medication at very low doses and gradually increasing the dose.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Last Updated: June 19, 2008

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