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Cycloset Side Effects

Generic Name: bromocriptine

Note: This document contains side effect information about bromocriptine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Cycloset.

In Summary

Common side effects of Cycloset include: symptomatic hypotension. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to bromocriptine: oral capsule, oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking bromocriptine:

More common
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • nausea
Less common—reported more often in patients with Parkinson's disease
  • Confusion
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • uncontrolled movements of the body, such as the face, tongue, arms, hands, head, and upper body
Rare—reported more often in patients taking large doses
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • loss of appetite, continuing
  • lower back pain
  • runny nose, continuing
  • stomach pain, continuing or severe
  • weakness
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bloody vomit
  • blurred vision
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • seizures
  • severe chest pain
  • sudden weakness
  • temporary blindness
  • unusual headache
  • vomiting, continuing or severe
Incidence not known
  • Agitation
  • anxiety
  • blue or pale skin
  • chest pain, possibly moving to the left arm, neck, or shoulder
  • chills
  • difficulty in breathing
  • difficulty in speaking
  • double vision
  • false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
  • fever
  • headache
  • high fever
  • high or low blood pressure
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • increased frequency of urination
  • loss of bladder control
  • lower back pain
  • severe muscle stiffness
  • slow speech
  • troubled or quick, shallow breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusually pale skin

Some side effects of bromocriptine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
  • Constipation
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness or tiredness
  • dry mouth
  • leg cramps at night
  • loss of appetite
  • mental depression
  • stomach pain
  • stuffy nose
  • tingling or pain in the fingers and toes when exposed to cold temperatures
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to bromocriptine: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral tablet


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (18% to 49%), constipation (3% to 14%), vomiting (2% to 5%), abdominal cramps (5%), indigestion/dyspepsia (4%), anorexia (4%), diarrhea (3%), gastrointestinal bleeding (less than 2%), abdominal discomfort, anorexia, dry mouth, and peptic ulcers have been reported.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (19%), dizziness (17%), fatigue (7%), lightheadedness (5%), and drowsiness/tiredness (3%). Other side effects occurring less frequently (less than 2%) have included faintness, vertigo, paresthesia, insomnia, decreased sleep requirement, heavy headedness, sluggishness, reduced tolerance to cold, asthenia, tingling of ears, and numbness. A syndrome resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome has been reported on abrupt withdrawal of bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) [Ref]


Syncope and symptomatic hypotension (decreases in supine systolic and diastolic pressures of greater than 20 mm and 10 mm Hg, respectively) have been reported in approximately 30% of postpartum patients.

Seizures and/or strokes have been reported with bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) administration. Many of the patients experiencing seizures and/or strokes reported developing a continuous headache, often progressively severe, hours to days prior to the acute event. In addition, visual disturbances (blurred vision and transient cortical blindness) have been reported to also precede stroke and/or seizure events. If a patient experiences severe, progressive, or unremitting headache (with or without visual disturbance), or evidence of CNS toxicity develops, bromocriptine therapy should be discontinued and the patient should be evaluated promptly.[Ref]

Cardiovascular side effects have included postural/orthostatic hypotension (6%), digital vasospasm (3%), syncope (less than 2%), seizures, stroke, and myocardial infarction. Rare cardiovascular side effects including arrhythmia, pleural and pericardial effusions, constrictive pericarditis, ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, and vasovagal attack have been reported.

A case of severe dilated cardiomyopathy has been reported in a 31-year-old African American female one month after initiating treatment of a microprolactinoma with bromocriptine 5 mg orally daily. An echocardiogram showed a markedly dilated left ventricle with severe reduction in the left-ventricular ejection fraction. The patient returned to NYHA Class I four weeks after bromocriptine was stopped.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included nasal congestion (3%) and shortness of breath. Pulmonary infiltrates, pleural effusion, and thickening of the pleura have been reported with long-term administration (6 months to 36 months) of bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) doses ranging from 20 mg to 100 mg daily. Upon termination of bromocriptine therapy, these changes slowly reverted towards normal.[Ref]

Rare cases of cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea have been reported in patients who have received previous transphenoidal surgery and/or pituitary radiation, and who were receiving bromocriptine for tumor recurrence.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included muscle cramps, facial pallor, abnormal involuntary movements, ataxia, edema of the feet and ankles, and erythromelalgia.[Ref]

Rare musculoskeletal side effects including tingling of fingers, cold feet, numbness, muscle cramps in feet and legs, and exacerbation of Raynaud's Syndrome have been reported during bromocriptine therapy.[Ref]


Parkinsonian patients may manifest mild degrees of dementia, therefore, caution should be used when treating such patients.

Bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) alone or in combination with levodopa, may cause hallucinations (visual or auditory). Hallucinations usually resolve with dosage reduction; occasionally, discontinuation of the drug is required. Rarely, after high doses, hallucinations have persisted for several weeks after discontinuation of the drug.[Ref]

Psychiatric side effects have included delusional psychosis, paranoia, depression, anxiety, confusion, "on-off" phenomenon, and nightmares. High doses of bromocriptine may be associated with confusion and mental disturbances (hallucinations). Postmarketing reports suggest that patients treated with antiparkinson medications can experience intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, intense urges to spend money uncontrollably, and other intense urges. Patients may be unable to control these urges while taking the medications used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and that increase central dopaminergic tone.[Ref]


Ocular side effects have included visual disturbance and blepharospasm. Secondary deterioration of visual field may develop in patients receiving treatment for hyperprolactinemia due to chiasmal herniation. The visual field defect may improve on reduction of bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) dosage.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included mottling of skin and skin rash.[Ref]


Other side effects have included hair loss, alcohol potentiation, reduced tolerance to cold, tingling of the ears, sign and symptoms of ergotism such as tingling of the fingers, cold feet, numbness, muscle cramps of feet and legs or exacerbation of Raynaud's syndrome.[Ref]


Local side effects have included retroperitoneal fibrosis in a few patients receiving long-term therapy (2 to 10 years) with bromocriptine (the active ingredient contained in Cycloset) in doses ranging from 30 to 140 mg daily.[Ref]


Studies have shown that Parkinson's patients have an approximately 2 to 6 fold higher risk of developing melanoma than the general population. It is not clear whether this increased risk was due to Parkinson's disease or other factors, such as drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease.


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3. Kaushik P, Vatsavai SR, Banda VR, Sanghi PK, Ahmad M, Kaushik R "Acute onset of severe dilated cardiomyopathy during bromocriptine therapy." Ann Pharmacother 38 (2004): 1219-21

4. Champagne SP, Coste E, Peyriere H, Nigond J, Mania E, Pons M, HillaireBuys D, Balmes P, Blayac JP, Davy JM "Chronic constrictive pericarditis induced by long-term bromocriptine therapy: Report of two cases." Ann Pharmacother 33 (1999): 1050-4

5. Bende M, Bergman B, Sjogren C "Nasal mucosal congestion after treatment with bromocriptine." Laryngoscope 103 (1993): 1142-4

6. Leiguarda R, Merello M, Sabe L, Starkstein S "Bromocriptine-induced dystonia in patients with aphasia and hemiparesis." Neurology 43 (1993): 2319-22

7. Boyd A "Bromocriptine and psychosis: a literature review." Psychiatr Q 66 (1995): 87-95

8. Dorevitch A, Aronzon R, Stark M "Psychotic exacerbation attributed to low-dose bromocriptine treatment of galactorrhea and hyperprolactinemia." Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 70 (1991): 375-6

9. Peter SA, Autz A, Jean-Simon ML "Bromocriptine-induced schizophrenia." J Natl Med Assoc 85 (1993): 700-1

10. Couldwell WT, Weiss MH "Visual loss associated with bromocriptine." Lancet 340 (1992): 1210-411

11. Fabre N, Montastruc JL, Rascol O "Alopecia: an adverse effect of bromocriptine." Clin Neuropharmacol 16 (1993): 266-8

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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