Parlodel or generic Bromocriptine is a dopamine agonist that your doctor may prescribe if it is found that you have high levels of a hormone called prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), indicating there may be a tumor growing on your pituitary gland called a prolactinoma. The reason for this tumor is relatively unknown, but they are benign. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Your pituitary gland is located in your brain and is no bigger than a pea, but it has a lot of responsibility. It contains cells called lactotrophs that produce prolactin in response to hormonal signals. Usually dopamine, an inhibitory hormone, regulates how much prolactin is required. However, sometimes these cells can become cancerous and cause a spike in the prolactin levels as they multiply.
The main objective is to slow down the tumor’s growth. Parlodel acts on dopamine receptors located on the pituitary gland in order to decrease the production of prolactin by increasing the dopamine levels. As the high prolactin levels start to return to normal, the tumor will have fewer cells to feed off of which causes it to shrink. There are several reasons why your prolactin levels may be high, so it’s important to see your doctor and undergo an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or other testing to uncover the reason.
Other reasons for elevated prolactin levels could be certain medications you take, such as those for hypertension, depression, or acid reflux. You may also have hypothyroidism which means your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones so your metabolism becomes less effective at controlling your body temperature and heartbeat and slowing down other body processes.
Parlodel is also approved as an add-on drug for those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) taking optimal dosages of Levodopa to help delay the “end of dose failure”. It may be possible to decrease the maintenance dose of Levodopa to improve any adverse reactions that can occur with long-term Levodopa therapy. There is not enough data to evaluate the potential benefits of treating newly diagnosed PD patients.
Have your doctor discuss the safety of taking Parlodel if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Explain other medical conditions or allergies to your doctor and list any OTC or Rx drugs you take, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements so it can be determined if Parlodel is right for your situation.
Until you know how your body will react to Parlodel, you should refrain from driving, operating machinery, and other tasks that could be unsafe. You should not consume alcohol while taking Parlodel as it can increase some side effects. Do not stop taking Parlodel without talking to your doctor as it can cause other health conditions to worsen.