Weaning: Is Parlodel dangerous to dry up your milk?

I told my doctor I wanted to wean my six month old. He prescribed Parlodel and told me to bind my breasts. I now read this can be dangerous. Is this true?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Parlodel (bromocriptine) is a drug that inhibits prolactin secretion. It has been used for suppression of lactation, though it is no longer approved by the FDA for this purpose.

Very serious side effects have been reported during the use of this drug to suppress lactation, including strokes, seizures (convulsions), and heart attacks. Several deaths have also occurred (US Pharmacopeia online 1996; FDA 1994, 1982; Canterbury 1987; Watson 1989). Parlodel is contraindicated by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in nursing mothers.

When a mother is ready to wean, I would recommend weaning gradually over a period of about two weeks.

Binding of the breasts is an outdated practice. Instead, wear a comfortable, supportive bra.

While in the process of weaning your little one, use cabbage leaf compresses, changed about every two hours, to help relieve any engorgement, and reduce your milk supply.

Birth control pills (high estrogen dosage)and sage tea or capsules (available at the health food store) can also reduce your milk supply if you feel additional therapy is necessary. Be sure to discuss the use of any of these medications with your Health Care Provider.

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