What Is Bromocriptine Used For?
Bromocriptine is used for treating several conditions, including Parkinson's disease, acromegaly, and type 2 diabetes. It is approved for treating prolactin-secreting tumors in children but is not approved for other uses in children. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend off-label bromocriptine uses, such as for suppressing lactation in new mothers who choose not to breastfeed.
Bromocriptine mesylate (Cycloset™, Parlodel®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of drugs known as ergot alkaloids. It is approved to treat the following conditions:
- Acromegaly (a hormonal growth disorder)
- Hyperprolactinemia (high levels of the hormone prolactin)
- Parkinson's disease and other similar conditions (when used in combination with other medications)
- Type 2 diabetes.
Parlodel (and generic versions) are approved for acromegaly, hyperprolactinemia, and Parkinson's disease. Cycloset is approved for type 2 diabetes.
Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (GH). It most commonly affects middle-aged adults, and can result in serious illness and premature death. Once recognized, acromegaly is treatable in most patients, but because of its slow and often insidious onset, it is frequently not diagnosed correctly. Most cases of acromegaly are cause by benign (noncancerous) tumors of the pituitary gland (see Acromegaly Causes).
The most common acromegaly symptoms include abnormal growth of the hands and feet, as well as swelling of the soft tissues of the hands and feet. Currently, acromegaly treatment options include:
- Surgical removal of the tumor
- Drug therapy (including medications such as bromocriptine)
- Radiation therapy of the pituitary.
Bromocriptine can be used alone or in combination with pituitary surgery or radiation. It is an attractive choice because it can be taken by mouth (unlike some similar medications, which must be injected).