Bromocriptine belongs to a classification of medication known as dopamine receptor agonists. These drugs bind to dopamine receptors in the brain, mimicking dopamine’s effect on the body.
Bromocriptine also blocks the production of prolactin from the pituitary gland. Prolactin is a natural hormone that affects the menstrual cycle and causes the breasts to grow and produce milk. In blocking the production of this hormone, bromocriptine can treat menstrual problems (such as amenorrhea), abnormal milk discharge, and infertility caused by an excess of prolactin in both men and women.
Bromocriptine has also been shown to reduce levels of growth hormone. This makes it an effective treatment for acromegaly – a rare condition in which the pituitary glands produce too much growth hormone.
As treatment for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, bromocriptine works in conjunction with levodopa to stimulate nerves that control movement. This works to reduce the uncontrollable movement and spasming caused by Parkinson’s disease. It’s important to note that bromocriptine is not a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Instead, it works to minimize uncomfortable symptoms caused by the disease.
Bromocriptine’s exact mechanism of action on patients with type 2 diabetes is unknown. When prescribed in conjunction with diet changes and physical activity, however, it has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in patients managing type 2 diabetes.