Apokyn

(apomorphine)

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Helps you move around.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Apokyn (apomorphine) is good for treating the "off" episodes or difficulty moving around when you have advanced Parkinson's disease, but it can cause vomiting and sudden sleepiness.

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Quick facts about Apokyn
  • Drug class: Neuro/psych
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Preferred drug according to the guidelines to treat the "off" periods or inability to control movements well that's associated with Parkinson's.
  • People respond to the injection of Apokyn (apomorphine) very quickly and this response can last longer than other medicines.
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What to expect from Apokyn, on one page

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Downsides

  • Can cause vomiting and sudden sleepiness. Your doctor will have to give you a medicine to stop the vomiting from happening.
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) should only be used if you have an "off" period of moving around. You should keep using your other medicines for your Parkinson's.
  • Dosing can be confusing since the pen only dispenses in milliliters, and there have been reports of people getting overdoses of Apokyn (apomorphine) because they thought it was for milligrams.
  • Stopping Apokyn (apomorphine) suddenly or lowering the dose too quickly can cause your muscles to become very stiff and you might get a very high fever, which can be life threatening. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking this medicine.
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What to expect from Apokyn, on one page

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How it works

Apokyn (apomorphine) is a non-ergoline dopamine agonist. Apokyn (apomorphine) allows you to move around more freely by stimulating the brain's ability to use dopamine, which is important for movement.

Quick facts about Apokyn
  • Drug class: Neuro/psych
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Injection
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Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Apokyn (apomorphine) for Parkinson's disease

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
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    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
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  • Possible side effects
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleepiness and falling asleep
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Movement changes
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Side effect rates for Apokyn (apomorphine)

From 29 clinical trials of Apokyn when taken for parkinson's disease
  • Yawning
    40%40%
  • Movement problems
    35%35%
    11%11%
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
    35%35%
  • Nausea or vomiting
    30%30%
    11%11%
  • Dizziness
    20%20%
  • Runny nose
    20%20%
  • Chest pain
    15%15%
  • Hallucinations
    10%10%
  • Swelling in arms and legs
    10%10%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Apokyn.

Apokyn (apomorphine)
Placebo

People taking Apokyn felt side effect more

People taking Apokyn felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Apokyn (apomorphine)

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  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can lower your blood pressure, which might cause you to faint and fall if you're not careful. Be very careful walking or moving around after using Apokyn (apomorphine).

Common concerns from people taking Apokyn (apomorphine)

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Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant.
FDA pregnancy category for Apokyn
CWeigh risks vs. benefits
Sleep
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep suddenly without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires your full concentration until you know how Apokyn (apomorphine) affects you. You're more at risk if you're taking other medicines for Parkinson's. Talk to your doctor if this bothers you.
  • Apokyn (apomorphine) can make you sleepy or fall asleep without warning. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.