What Is Bromocriptine Used For?
Hyperprolactinemia is an abnormally high level of the hormone prolactin. It can be caused by various medications and diseases (including pituitary tumors). Hyperprolactinemia is a common cause of infertility in women and men, since prolactin has effects on several other hormones. Many women with hyperprolactinemia have infrequent or absent menstrual periods.
Because prolactin is involved in breastfeeding, people with hyperprolactinemia may develop galactorrhea, the production of breast milk not associated with pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Bromocriptine can be used to treat the effects of hyperprolactinemia, including infertility, infrequent or absent menstrual periods, or other problems. Because bromocriptine can shrink prolactin-secreting tumors, it is also useful for shrinking such tumors to help them be more easily removed by surgery.
Bromocriptine is approved to treat parkinsonism, which includes Parkinson's disease and several other Parkinson's-like conditions. Specifically, it is approved to treat the following:
- Parkinson's disease
- Postencephalic parkinsonism.
(Please see Parkinsonism for more information on these different types of parkinsonism.)
Although other types of medications (typically carbidopa-levodopa medicines) are the mainstay of Parkinson's disease treatment, bromocriptine can be helpful when used in addition to such medications. Bromocriptine is not approved for Parkinson's disease treatment when used alone; it is approved only for use in combination with levodopa medications.