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Drugs reference index «apomorphine»



Generic Name: apomorphine (a poe MOR feen)Brand names: Apokyn, APO-Go, APO-Go Pen, Uprima

What is apomorphine?

Apomorphine has some of the same effects as a chemical called dopamine, which occurs naturally in your body. Low levels of dopamine in the brain are associated with Parkinson's disease.

Apomorphine is used to treat "wearing-off" episodes (muscle stiffness, loss of muscle control) in people with advanced Parkinson's disease.

Apomorphine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about apomorphine?

Some people using apomorphine have fallen asleep during normal daytime activities such as working, talking, eating, or driving. You may fall asleep suddenly, even after feeling alert. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with daytime sleepiness or drowsiness. If you are unsure of how this medicine will affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not drink alcohol or use narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or lower your blood pressure. Dangerous side effects may result. Apomorphine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using apomorphine?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to apomorphine, or if you are using any of the following medications:
  • alosetron (Lotronex);

  • dolasetron (Anzemet);

  • granisetron (Kytril);

  • ondansetron (Zofran); or

  • palonosetron (Aloxi).

Before using apomorphine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);

  • a slow heart rate;

  • a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";

  • a history of stroke or heart attack;

  • asthma;

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia; or

  • low blood pressure.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use apomorphine.

Some people using apomorphine have fallen asleep during normal daytime activities such as working, talking, eating, or driving. You may fall asleep suddenly, even after feeling alert. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with daytime sleepiness or drowsiness. If you are unsure of how this medicine will affect you, be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Apomorphine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use apomorphine?

Apomorphine is given as an injection under the skin of your stomach, upper arm, or upper thigh. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to inject your medicine at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Do not inject apomorphine into a vein. Measuring your apomorphine dose correctly is extremely important. If you use an injector pen with your apomorphine, the medication is measured in milliliters (mL) marked on the pen. However, your prescribed dose may be in milligrams (mg). One milligram, or 1 mg, of apomorphine is equal to 0.1 mL marked on the dosing pen.

Use a different place on your stomach, arm, or thigh each time you give yourself an injection. Do not inject apomorphine into the same place two times in a row.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Apomorphine can cause severe nausea and vomiting. For this reason, your doctor may prescribe an anti-nausea medication for you to start taking a few days before you begin using apomorphine. You may also need to keep using the anti-nausea medicine throughout your treatment with apomorphine. You may have withdrawal symptoms such as fever, muscle stiffness, and feeling light-headed or fainting, when you stop using this medication after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using apomorphine suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

If you stop using apomorphine for a week or longer, ask your doctor before restarting the medication. You may need to restart with a lower dose.

Store this medication at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, extreme drowsiness, or fainting.

What should I avoid while using apomorphine?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of apomorphine. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by apomorphine. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these other medicines. Apomorphine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Apomorphine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • nausea or vomiting that continues after taking an anti-nausea medication;

  • feeling light-headed (especially when you stand up);

  • falling or passing out;

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking); or

  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • bruising, itching, or hardening of your skin where the injection was given;

  • increased sexual desire;

  • depressed mood, headache;

  • pale skin, increased sweating;

  • warmth, redness, or tingling under your skin;

  • dizziness, drowsiness, yawning;

  • runny nose;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • joint pain; or

  • constipation or diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Apomorphine Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Parkinson's Disease:

Test dose: 0.2 mL (2 mg) during "Off" period.Initial: 0.2 mL (2 mg) subcutaneously during the 'Off" period, up to three times per day, if test dose tolerated and provided good response.Maintenance: Titrate every few days in 0.1 mL (1 mg) increments upwards to a maximum of 0.6 mL (6 mg) per dose.Maximum single dose is 0.6 mL (6 mg),.Maximum: do not administer more than 5 times per day, and do not exceed 2 mL (20 mg) per day.

What other drugs will affect apomorphine?

Before using apomorphine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • arsenic trioxide (Trisenox);

  • bepridil (Vascor);

  • blood pressure medications;

  • cisapride (Propulsid);

  • chloroquine (Arelan) or halofantrine (Halfan);

  • metoclopramide (Reglan);

  • niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor, Niaspan, and others);

  • sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);

  • narcotic medication such as fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), levomethadyl (Orlaam), methadone (Methadose), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), oxymorphone (Opana), pentazocine (Talwin), or propoxyphene (Darvon);

  • antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), dirithromycin (Dynabac), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam), sparfloxacin (Zagam), telithromycin (Ketek);

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as haloperidol (Haldol), droperidol (Inapsine), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), mesoridazine (Serentil), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), or trifluperazine (Stelazine); or

  • heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinaglute), or sotalol (Betapace).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with apomorphine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about apomorphine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 06/12/2009 10:05:48 AM.
  • apomorphine Subcutaneous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Apomorphine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Apokyn Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Apokyn Consumer Overview

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