If you have done a research on fertility medication, you may have come across Bromocriptine. It is a prescription drug which falls under the category of medicines termed as ergot derivatives; medicines under the same class works in the same manner and are used to treat similar conditions. It is available in the form of a tablet and a capsule which are taken orally. Most of the times it’s used in combination therapy, meaning this medication is taken with other drugs. Patients on this medication are faced with its side effects.
The Drug Uses
The drug works by blocking the production of prolactin hormone, the hormone is released by the pituitary gland in the brain and it is responsible for monthly periods and milk production. It is used in the following circumstances:
- To treat infertility in women – elevated levels of prolactin prevents the production of FSH and LH; consequently, ovulation and menstruation are interrupted and may lead to infertility. If the doctor prescribes Bromocriptine, it restores ovulation and normalizes menstruation. The drug is taken every day; the normal starting dose is 2.5 milligrams once daily, nevertheless, if the levels are inactive, the physician may increase the dose for it to be effective. The medicine may take six to eight weeks to be effective, thus be patient with the medication for it to work, take this medicine until pregnancy occurs or the condition being treated for is managed or treated. If the Bromocriptine side effects are intolerable, the drug can be used vaginally. The good thing is that the medicine is effective in correcting infertility and conception can be attained.
- To treat infertility in men – if a male has high levels of prolactin, Bromocriptine works in males the same way it works in females; in a man, it deals with impaired sperm production. In men, the daily dose may range from 5mg to 10 mg, lower levels of prolactin raises sperm production. The health care provider will prescribe the dosage which will work for you.
- To treat pituitary gland tumors.
- To halt milk production in a woman after an abortion, a miscarriage or after delivery if a woman shouldn’t breastfeed due to medical reasons. However, using the medication after a miscarriage or an abortion is highly discouraged because of severe negative effects like heart attack, stroke, seizure and high blood pressure.
- To treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it’s used together with Levodopa. It’s crucial to note that this drug doesn’t cure Parkison’s disease; it reduces the symptoms of the condition. What is Parkinson’s disease? It affects particular nerve cells in your brain, which slowly dies.
- To aid in weight loss, although this use is controversial, it’s believed it aids in weight loss according to how the drug works.
- To treat type II diabetes .
The dosage of the medication depends on from one patient to another; it depends on the condition being treated and personal characteristics. It’s crucial is to follow the physician prescription. Exercise and diet are important for the drug to work, particularly when it’s used to manage type II diabetes. The medication is available in brand names and generic form, purchase the brand prescribed by the doctor. Different brands don’t work in the same way.
- Strictly follow the diet given by the doctor and remember exercise is paramount; an overdose may cause severe negative effects, whereas an underdone may be ineffective in treating the condition prescribed for.
- If you are a female and not dealing with infertility, while on the drug, use birth control to avoid conception. In the case of a missed period, undertake a home pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy, however, if the test is positive, inform the physician with immediate effect.
- Some side effects can be relived through home remedies, for example, dryness of the mouth, use sugar-free gum or candy, ice, and saliva substitute to counter this unwanted effect. Nevertheless, if the undesired effect persists for over two weeks, consult with the medical care provider or a dentist to prevent tooth decay, fungus infections, and gum disease.
- Alcohol reacts with the drug, thus it’s advisable to do away with alcohol to avoid drug reaction, and even alcohol beverages should be done away with.
- Inform the doctor of the medical history, such as galactose intolerance liver disease and heart attack, the history will determine if the doctor will recommend the medication or not, so don’t leave out anything which concerns your health.
- Before driving or using machinery, take the drug and note how you react to the medicine. The medication can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
- While on the medication, you may experience a reduction of blood flow, particularly on the fingers and toes, when exposed to cold. During cold seasons, keep the hands and feet warm.
- The medication affects breast milk production, therefore, it’s not recommended if breastfeeding, speak to the healthcare provider prior breastfeeding.
Bromocriptine Side Effects
Unfortunately, the drug may lead to side effects. Depending on the time you have been on the medicine and the dosage prescribed. The unwanted effects vary from one patient to another; others don’t experience them at all. The negative effects may be are classified into two, namely:
- Stomach upset
- Feeling faint and may result in fainting
- Falling asleep suddenly, more so while on Parkinson’s treatment
- Feeling numbness or cold on the fingers
The good thing about the above effects is that they will clear on their own. Nonetheless, if the unwanted effects continue, it wise to see the doctor. He may lower the dosage of the drug and increase it slowly as your body become used to the medication. For the severe side effects of Bromocriptine, you should seek medical attention immediately.
- Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and discomfort in the upper body
- Stroke and can be characterized by slurred speech and weakness which affects one side of the body
- Scarring in the lungs, signs to expect are difficulty breathing, cough, tiredness, unexplained weight loss and aching joints
- Confusion and hallucination
- High blood pressure
Finally, after stopping the use of Bromocriptine, you can be faced with the drug long-term side effects. But with the doctor’s help, you will deal with the long-term effects. Bear in mind the drug has many benefits against its risks, if the physician has prescribed it, it’s worth taking it.