Nervous System Home > Parlodel and Breastfeeding

Parlodel (bromocriptine) was once used to suppress lactation after childbirth, but due to a number of potential risks, this is no longer an approved use of Parlodel. Breastfeeding women are often urged to avoid using the medication, as it may decrease the production of breast milk. Before using Parlodel, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare providers about any potential risks.

Parlodel and Breastfeeding: An Overview

Parlodel® (bromocriptine mesylate) should not be used by breastfeeding women, as it suppresses lactation (breast milk production). Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking Parlodel if you are breastfeeding or plan to start.

Can I Take Parlodel to Stop Lactation?

At one point, Parlodel was approved to suppress lactation after childbirth, typically for women who chose not to breastfeed or could not breastfeed. For instance, it was sometimes used to suppress lactation in women after a stillbirth. However, Parlodel is not without risk, and the drug is no longer approved for this use. Strokes, heart attacks, seizures, and problems with blood pressure have been reported in women who used Parlodel to suppress lactation, and the risks usually outweigh the possible benefits.

Can I Breastfeed While Taking Parlodel?

Limited information suggests that Parlodel probably does not pass through breast milk and probably does not cause any problems in breastfed infants. However, because Parlodel decreases the production of prolactin (a hormone that is essential for breastfeeding), it may decrease your milk production. At low doses, some women may be able to take Parlodel while breastfeeding.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Parlodel and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about Parlodel and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about Parlodel and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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