Bromocriptine is an ergot medication that is believed to make your body's insulin function better, improving blood sugar control.
Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking bromocriptine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. It should be taken within 2 hours after waking in the morning. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. This medication often causes dizziness, especially just after the first dose or anytime your dose is increased. To reduce the risk of injury from falling, sit or lie down immediately after taking your first dose or anytime your dose is increased or if you feel dizzy.
Do not switch between different brands of bromocriptine unless directed by your doctor. The other brands may not have the same effect on blood sugar control.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen (your blood sugar levels are too high or too low).
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, heartburn, runny nose, and weakness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This may occur if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your dosage may need to be increased.
Some people taking bromocriptine have reported falling asleep suddenly during their usual daily activities (such as talking on the phone, driving). In some cases, sleep occurred without any feelings of drowsiness beforehand. Therefore, you should not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you are certain that this medication will not cause drowsiness or sudden sleep. If you experience increased sleepiness or fall asleep during the day, do not drive or take part in other possibly dangerous activities until you have discussed this effect with your doctor. Your risk is increased with use of alcohol or other medications that can make you drowsy.
You may also develop a sudden drop in blood pressure. This effect can cause dizziness, nausea, and fainting. A drop in blood pressure is more likely when you are first starting the medication, when your dose is increased, or when you get up suddenly. To lower your risk, get up slowly from a sitting or lying position.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: vision problems (such as blurred/double vision), mental/mood changes (such as depression, confusion, hallucinations, restlessness).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking bromocriptine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other ergot medications (such as ergonovine, pergolide); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: migraine headaches that cause fainting, mental/mood disorders (such as depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia), uncontrolled high blood pressure, recent pregnancy (especially with high blood pressure).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcohol while taking this medication because it can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar.
It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because this may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. This medication can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: "triptans" (such as sumatriptan, frovatriptan), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove bromocriptine from your body (such as cimetidine, delavirdine, telithromycin, azole antifungals including ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics including erythromycin, HIV protease inhibitors including ritonavir, rifamycins including rifabutin, St. John's wort, certain anti-seizure medicines including carbamazepine).
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine), psychiatric medicines (such as chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
Beta-blocker medications (such as metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating, are unaffected by these drugs.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor about the results and of any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication, exercise program, or diet.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Attend a diabetes education program to learn more about diabetes and the important aspects of its treatment, including medications, diet, exercise, and getting regular eye/foot/medical exams.
Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, eye exams, kidney/liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, but remember within two hours of rising, then take your dose. Otherwise, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule the next morning. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised June 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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