Bromocriptine-QR therapy for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: Developmental basis and therapeutic profile summary

Philip Raskin, Anthony H. Cincotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


An extended series of studies indicate that endogenous phase shifts in circadian neuronal input signaling to the biological clock system centered within the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) facilitates shifts in metabolic status. In particular, a diminution of the circadian peak in dopaminergic input to the peri-SCN facilitates the onset of fattening, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance while reversal of low circadian peak dopaminergic activity to the peri-SCN via direct timed dopamine administration to this area normalizes the obese, insulin resistant, glucose intolerant state in high fat fed animals. Systemic circadian-timed daily administration of a potent dopamine D2 receptor agonist, bromocriptine, to increase diminished circadian peak dopaminergic hypothalamic activity across a wide variety of animal models of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) results in improvements in the obese, insulin resistant, glucose intolerant condition by improving hypothalamic fuel sensing and reducing insulin resistance, elevated sympathetic tone, and leptin resistance. A circadian-timed (within 2 hours of waking in the morning) once daily administration of a quick release formulation of bromocriptine (bromocriptine-QR) has been approved for the treatment of T2DM by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Clinical studies with such bromocriptine-QR therapy (1.6 to 4.8 mg/day) indicate that it improves glycemic control by reducing postprandial glucose levels without raising plasma insulin. Across studies of various T2DM populations, bromocriptine-QR has been demonstrated to reduce HbA1c by -0.5 to -1.7. The drug has a good safety profile with transient mild to moderate nausea, headache and dizziness as the most frequent adverse events noted with the medication. In a large randomized clinical study of T2DM subjects, bromocriptine-QR exposure was associated with a 42% hazard ratio reduction of a pre-specified adverse cardiovascular endpoint including myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for congestive heart failure, revascularization surgery, or unstable angina. Bromocriptine-QR represents a novel method of treating T2DM that may have benefits for cardiovascular disease as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-148
Number of pages36
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016


  • Dopamine
  • bromocriptine
  • cardiovascular
  • circadian
  • diabetes
  • glucose
  • insulin
  • neuroendocrine
  • sympathetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Bromocriptine-QR therapy for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: Developmental basis and therapeutic profile summary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this