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Apomorphine is a Parkinson's disease medication used during "off" episodes (periods of muscle stiffness and trouble initiating movements). This prescription medication works by increasing the amount of a certain chemical in the brain (dopamine). It comes in the form of an injection and is used "as needed," up to five times a day to control off episodes. Possible side effects can include drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting.

What Is Apomorphine?

Apomorphine hydrochloride (Apokyn®) is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. Specifically, it is used "as needed" to help reverse the symptoms of "off" episodes (periods of muscle stiffness, slow movements, and trouble initiating movements). It is given as an injection just under the skin. Because apomorphine usually causes very severe nausea and vomiting, it is almost always given along with Tigan® (trimethobenzamide), a medication that helps to reduce these side effects.
(Click What Is Apomorphine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Possible Side Effects

As with any medicine, apomorphine can cause side effects. Although some side effects of the drug may be merely bothersome, some are quite serious or intolerable. Side effects often limit the usefulness of apomorphine.
Common side effects include, but are not limited to:
  • Yawning
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting.
(Click Side Effects of Apomorphine to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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