Apokyn Side Effects
Generic Name: apomorphine
Note: This page contains information about the side effects of apomorphine. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Apokyn.
Common side effects of Apokyn include: angina pectoris, chest pain, chest pressure, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, dyskinesia, edema, hallucination, nausea, orthostatic hypotension, rhinorrhea, swelling of extremities, vomiting, and yawning. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
Applies to apomorphine: subcutaneous solution
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by apomorphine (the active ingredient contained in Apokyn). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking apomorphine:More common:
- Chest pain, discomfort, or pressure
- cold sweats
- 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
- twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
- Arm, back, neck or jaw pain or discomfort
- chest tightness or heaviness
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- low blood pressure or pulse
- shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- recurrent fainting
Minor Side Effects
Some of the side effects that can occur with apomorphine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional: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
- runny nose
- 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 Apokyn) [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 Apokyn) 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 Apokyn) 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 Apokyn) 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 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 Apokyn) 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 Apokyn) 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
Not all side effects for Apokyn may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
More about Apokyn (apomorphine)
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