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Apokyn Prescription
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Generic Name: apomorphine (a poe MOR feen)
Brand Names: Apokyn
Apokyn treats loss of control of body movements such as muscle stiffness and slow movements associated with Parkinson disease. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications.
Generic Name: apomorphine (a poe MOR feen)
Brand Names: Apokyn
Apokyn treats loss of control of body movements such as muscle stiffness and slow movements associated with Parkinson disease. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications.
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5 tablets of Apokyn 40 mg
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Apokyn Drug Information:

Apokyn (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. Apokyn is a prescription medicine used to treat "wearing-off" episodes (muscle stiffness, loss of muscle control) in people with advanced Parkinson's disease. It is not known if Apokyn is safe and effective in children. Serious drug interactions can occur when certain medicines are used together with Apokyn. Tell each of your healthcare prOviders about all medicines you use now, and any medicine you start or stop using. Learn more

Apokyn Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about apomorphine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Apokyn.

For the Consumer

Applies to apomorphine: subcutaneous solution

Along with its needed effects, apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in Apokyn) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking apomorphine:

More common

  • Chest pain, discomfort, or pressure
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or light-headedness when getting up from lying or sitting position
  • falling asleep during activity
  • mood or mental changes
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • swelling
  • twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs

Less common

  • Arm, back, neck or jaw pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • low blood pressure or pulse
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • unconsciousness
  • vomiting


  • Irregular heartbeat
  • recurrent fainting

Some side effects of apomorphine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at injection site
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • runny nose
  • sleepiness
  • yawning


  • Painful or prolonged erection of the penis

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to apomorphine: compounding powder, subcutaneous solution


The most commonly reported adverse reactions have included yawning, drowsiness/somnolence, dyskinesias, dizziness/postural hypotension, rhinorrhea, nausea, vomiting, hallucination/confusion, and edema/swelling of extremities.


This drug is known to cause severe nausea and vomiting when administered at recommended doses; because of this, premedication with antiemetics is recommended. In a clinical trial in which patients received premedication with trimethobenzamide, 31% and 11% of patients had nausea and vomiting, respectively.

Very common (10% or more): Nausea and/or vomiting (30%)

Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, diarrhea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Stomatitis, transient metallic taste


Very common (10% or more): Orthostatic hypotension (up to 20%), chest pain/pressure/angina (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Syncope, hypotension, edema/swelling of extremities, congestive heart failure

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): QTc interval prolongation

Frequency not reported: Profound hypotension and loss of consciousness, thrombus formation, angina, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest and/or sudden death, QTC prolongation

Concomitant use of ondansetron with apomorphine has resulted in profound hypotension and loss of consciousness. Because of this, US labeling has concomitant use of 5HT3 antagonists and apomorphine as contraindicated.

Thrombus formation due to intravenous crystallization of apomorphine has occurred with IV administration; this drug should not be administered IV.

In clinical studies, 4% of patients receiving this drug experienced angina, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest and/or sudden death. The specific incidence of each event is unknown; some cases of angina and myocardial infarction occurred in close proximity to apomorphine administration, while other cases of cardiac arrest and sudden death occurred at time not related to dosing.

In a placebo-controlled study, single apomorphine doses from 2 mg to 8 mg resulted in mean differences from placebo in QTc (as measured by Holter monitor) of 0, 1, and 7 milliseconds with 4, 6, and 8 mg does, respectively. In another study, single-doses of apomorphine 2 to 10 mg (mean 5.2 mg) resulted in a mean difference in QTc interval of about 3 milliseconds at 20- and 90-minutes post-dose. For the entire study, 2 patients exhibited larger QTc increases (greater than 60 milliseconds from pre-dose; 1 patient at 2 and 6 mg; 1 patient at 6 mg).


Very common (10% or more): Hallucinations (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Confusion, insomnia, depression

Frequency not reported: Impulse control/compulsive behaviors

Postmarketing reports: New or worsening mental status and behavioral changes including psychotic-like behavior, paranoid ideation, delusions, disorientation, aggressive behavior, agitation, and delirium

For patients taking medications that increase central dopaminergic tone including this drug, there have been case reports of intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, intense urges to spend money uncontrollably, and the inability to control these urges.


Very common (10% or more): Falls (up to 30%)

Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue


Very common (10% or more): Injection site reactions (26%)

Frequency not reported: Panniculitis

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Drowsiness or somnolence (up to 35%), dyskinesia (up to 35%)

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, aggravated Parkinson's disease, weakness

Frequency not reported: Falling asleep during activities of daily living


Injection site reactions including bruising, granuloma, and pruritus have occurred with subcutaneous injections. Local induration and nodules (usually asymptomatic) often develop with continuous use. At higher doses, erythema, tenderness and induration at site of subcutaneous injection may occur. Panniculitis has been reported when a skin biopsy has been performed.


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Spontaneous penile erection

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Painful erection

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Priapism


Common (1% to 10%): Ecchymosis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Thrombocytopenia

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Coombs' positive hemolytic anemia, eosinophilia


Sodium metabisulfite is an excipient in many apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in Apokyn) solutions. Angioedema and anaphylaxis and bronchospasm have been reported with this excipient in sulfite sensitive individuals.

Frequency not reported: Angioedema, anaphylaxis, bronchospasm


Common (1% to 10%): Limb pain, arthralgia, back pain


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased lacrimation


Common (1% to 10%): Dehydration


Very common (10% or more): Yawning (40%), rhinorrhea (20%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia, dyspnea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Breathing difficulties

Frequency not reported: Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism due to intravenous crystallization of apomorphine has occurred with IV administration; this drug should not be administered IV.


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Reduced facial hair growth, local and generalized rashes


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Transient rise in serum prolactin, loss of libido

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/3/2022.

Source: Drugs.com Apokyn (www.drugs.com/apokyn.html).