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What Are the Most Common Bromocriptine Side Effects?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 17, 2024
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Bromocriptine is an oral medication that can be prescribed for a number of different conditions, including the blood disease hyperprolactinemia and the tumors caused by it, as well as for the management of Parkinson's disease. The medication may cause the development of side effects such as fatigue and loss of appetite, and gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. More serious side effects can include hallucinations or hearing voices.

Many individuals prescribed the medication develop mild but frustrating bromocriptine side effects. Common ailments include gastrointestinal distress such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, or constipation, along with a loss of appetite and lack of interest in food. There may be feelings of nausea and dizziness even without eating.

Other common bromocriptine side effects include fatigue, physical and mental exhaustion, and a weak feeling that can make performing everyday tasks a challenge. Sudden movements may be accompanied by a dizzy feeling, especially when standing or sitting. An individual may become prone to fainting spells, confusion, or severe headaches if the lightheaded feeling persists, although this is more common in those who have been prescribed high doses of the drug. If this occurs, the patient should consult with a medical professional.

Sometimes an individual may experience a change in the way he experiences things as one of the bromocriptine side effects. There may be a cold sensation in the extremities or other parts of the body, along with a tingling sensation. In some cases, neck or back pain may develop, along with water retention and swelling in the extremities.

Exhaustion or extreme tiredness may also go along with disruptions in sleep patterns. The individual may suffer from insomnia in spite of being tired, or wake up repeatedly throughout the night. This can result in not only being tired through the day, but falling asleep suddenly. This is rare among bromocriptine side effects, but individuals should take care when driving or performing other tasks that can become potentially dangerous.

Those prescribed high doses of the medication are more likely to develop bromocriptine side effects such as cold symptoms and a perpetually runny nose. There may also be back pain, chest pain, a more frequent need to urinate, and problems with vision or speech. This can range from blurry or double vision to difficulty forming words. Some of these symptoms can be caused by a spike in blood pressure.

Some individuals may also experience an allergic reaction to the medication. The development of hives or difficulty breathing is characteristic of such a reaction. Facial swelling or a rash should be reported to a medical professional, and an allergic reaction typically results in the individual being taken off the medication.

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