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APO-Go Pen Side Effects

Generic Name: apomorphine

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 APO-Go Pen.

For the Consumer

Applies to apomorphine: subcutaneous solution

Along with its needed effects, apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) 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


Gastrointestinal side effects have included severe nausea (31%) and vomiting (11%) at the recommended doses of apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) [Ref]

In clinical trials conducted in the USA, patients were treated with trimethobenzamide for 3 days prior to initiation of treatment with apomorphine, and were directed to continue it for at least 6 weeks. The number of patients stopping apomorphine treatment due to nausea was 3% and due to vomiting was 2%.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included syncope (2%). QT and QTc prolongation have been reported in very rare cases. Apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) may cause dose-related decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Severe orthostatic hypotension, hypotension and/or syncope that resulted in drug withdrawal have been reported in less than 1% of patients in clinical trials.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included hallucinations (14%), confusion, paranoid ideation, delusions, disorientation, aggressive behavior, agitation, and delirium. Slowing down of cognitive performance has been reported after apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) use in a small number of patients with Parkinson's disease. The mechanism of action is not fully understood.[Ref]


Other side effects have included falling asleep during activities of daily living. There have been reports in the literature of patients suddenly falling asleep without prior warning, soon after receiving apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) subcutaneous injections.[Ref]


Local side effects have included reactions at the injection site, such as bruising (16%), granuloma (4%), and pruritus (2%).[Ref]


Drug abuse and dependence have been reported rarely by patients with Parkinson's disease. These cases are characterized by frequent dosing leading to hallucinations, dyskinesia, and abnormal behavior.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included symptoms resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome associated with the rapid dose reduction, withdrawal of, or changes in antiparkinsonian therapy. Migraine attacks have been reported to occur following injection of apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) in two postmenopausal women who had experienced migraines before menopause several years earlier.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included priapism in some patients.[Ref]


Drug tolerance to apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in APO-Go Pen) after long periods of drug treatment has been observed in some studies. The decline in dopaminergic responsiveness was most noticeable with drug administrations set at 2-hour intervals.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Apokyn (apomorphine)." Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc, Morgantown, WV.

2. Ruzicka E, Roth J, Spackova N, Mecir P, Jech R "Apomorphine induced cognitive changes in Parkinson's disease." J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 57 (1994): 998-1001

3. Sabatini U, Rascol O, Rascol A, Montastruc JL "Migraine attacks induced by subcutaneous apomorphine in two migrainous parkinsonian patients." Clin Neuropharmacol 13 (1990): 264-7

4. Gancher ST, Nutt JG, Woodward WR "Time course of tolerance to apomorphine in parkinsonism." Clin Pharmacol Ther 52 (1992): 504-10

Some side effects of APO-Go Pen may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.