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Parlodel

Parlodel is a medication that can help with fertility issues caused by hyperprolactinemia – an excess production of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is responsible for the production of breast milk as well as sex hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If prolactin levels are too high, these hormones could be out of balance and cause fertility issues in both men and women, as well as causing breast-milk production without a person being pregnant or nursing.


Parlodel is recommended for those with a prolactinoma; a non-cancerous swelling in or around the pituitary gland that may cause increased prolactin levels. It’s also recommended for women who experience fertility issues such as a lack of periods due to elevated prolactin levels.



Parlodel Patient Information Leaflet

Last Patient Information Leaflet Review: 22/01/2020



This medicine is no longer available to request via our online service. If you are still having trouble with your symptoms please visit the NHS website for services in your area.

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What is Parlodel?

Parlodel is a medicine that’s given to both men and women to treat hyperprolactinemia; an excess production of the hormone prolactin. Having too much of this hormone can cause several problems, including:

  • Lack of menstrual periods
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Discharge from nipples
  • Infertility
  • Hypogonadism
  • Erectile dysfunction (in men)

Parlodel contains the medicine, bromocriptine, a dopamine receptor agonist that reduces the amount of prolactin produced by the pituitary gland.

The reduction of prolactin can help to restore the balance of sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone, which encourages the body into a regular menstrual cycle. This will stimulate ovulation and make it easier for a struggling couple to conceive. It can also be used to stop or slow the production of breast milk in some cases, especially after an abortion or miscarriage, or in people who produce breast milk without having been pregnant.

Can I take Parlodel?

If you’re struggling to become pregnant, there are some things that your doctor should rule out before prescribing Parlodel. Depending on the cause of your fertility issues, Parlodel might not be the most appropriate drug for you. However, if your GP does think that the medicine will help in your case, there are some other conditions that might make it dangerous for you to take it. Your doctor will want to talk to you if you have any of the following conditions or problems:

  • Allergic to any ingredients of Parlodel
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Severe blood vessel disease
  • Scar tissue affecting the heart
  • Serious mental health problems
  • Breastfeeding
  • Recently given birth
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Liver disease
  • Fibrosis
  • Pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Pre-menstrual issues
  • Non-cancerous breast disease
  • Non-cancerous tumour

If none of the above conditions apply to you, it might be safe for you to use Parlodel to either stop the production of breast milk, or to regulate sex hormones in a bid to increase your chances of conception.

Will Parlodel interact with any other medicines?

Parlodel can interact with several medicines, meaning that it might be dangerous to take any of the following drugs at the same time as bromocriptine:

  • Blood pressure medications
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Diuretics
  • Ergot allealoids
  • Ergometrine
  • Ergotamine tartrate
  • Macrolide antibiotics
  • Erythromycin
  • Azole antifungals
  • Protease inhibitors (for HIV)
  • Octreotide
  • Antipsychotics
  • Phenothiazines
  • Butyrophenones
  • Thioxanthenes
  • Anti-nausea drugs
  • Metoclopramide
  • Domperidone

Even if you don’t see your medication on the list, you should tell your doctor about any and all other drugs you might be taking before you start Parlodel. It might be that the drugs don’t interact well with each other, or that you need to be closely monitored whilst taking Parlodel.

Sometimes, taking any of the above drugs might not mean that you can’t take Parlodel as well. It might just mean that you need to take a lower dose of one of the medicines. Talk to your GP about your options if you recognise any of the medications above.

What are the side effects of Parlodel?

Parlodel affects your body by altering the levels of hormones, so it can be expected that side effects might occur. Some of these can be unpleasant, but it’s important to remember that not everybody experiences them. However, if you do, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible. Some of the most common symptoms that people experience whilst taking Parlodel include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Blocked nose
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Leg cramps
  • Itchy, red, swollen skin
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Pins and needles
  • Mental health problems
  • Diarrhoea
  • Back pain and difficulty urinating
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Lung problems
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • Disturbed vision
  • Watery discharge from the nose
  • Ringing in ears
  • Impulsive behaviour

More, and rare side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet that should be included in the box with your order, and it’s important to make yourself familiar with these so that you’re prepared and armed with all the knowledge you need if you have to seek emergency treatment.

Many of the symptoms above won’t affect a majority of users, but it’s still important to know what might happen if you start treatment with Parlodel. However, try not to let the side effects put you off. If you have any concerns, please speak to your doctor.

Implusive behaviour is listed as a side effect, but to make this clearer, this includes any behaviours or temptations that can be seen as being harmful to yourself or to others. This includes things such as:

  • Excessive gambling
  • Altered or increased sexual interest that concerns you or those around you
  • Uncontrollable and excessive spending
  • Binge eating or compulsive eating

If you notice that you’re experiencing impulsive thoughts of behaviours, please tell your doctor as soon as possible. You might need your dosage lowering, or changing to a different medication.

Can I drive while taking Parlodel?

Parlodel can cause drowsiness and dizziness, so if you’re affected by the medication, we suggest that you wait until you feel better to start driving again. However, if you feel no different, you can carry on as normal. We’d always suggest waiting to see how any medication makes you feel before attempting to drive. This is for your own safety as well as the safety of others.

How do I know if I have hyperprolactinemia?

If you’re struggling to become pregnant and don’t know why, the following symptoms might indicate that you have higher than normal levels of prolactin in your body. In women, the symptoms include:

  • Vaginal dryness leading to pain during intercourse
  • Problems with menstruation including a lack of periods or irregular periods
  • Production of breast milk when not pregnant or nursing
  • In men, the symptoms can present as:
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Breast enlargement
    • Decreased muscle mass
    • Decreased body hair

    If you think you might be suffering with hyperprolactinemia, you should speak to your GP and see whether Parlodel is a good option for you, especially if you’re trying to conceive.

    Why might I have hyperprolactinemia?

    Some conditions can cause an excess production of prolactin, as well as some medications. If you have any of the following conditions, you may be more at risk of having high levels of prolactin and therefore a higher risk of experiencing fertility issues:

    • Hypothyroidism
    • Chest-wall injuries
    • Shingles
    • Tumours or diseases affecting the pituitary gland
    • Radiation treatment for tumours near the pituitary gland
    • Chronic liver disease
    • Chronic kidney disease
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