Other formulations and future considerations for apomorphine for subcutaneous injection therapy.Neurology. 2004 Mar 23; 62(6 Suppl 4):S22-6.Neur
This manuscript reviews apomorphine administration in formulations other than intermittent bolus injection, and comments on other potential uses for this unique compound. Continuous sc apomorphine therapy has been shown to alter peak-dose dyskinesia thresholds in advancing patients, and in some instances may replace all other anti-parkinson therapies. In general continuous infusion of sc apomorphine at a rate of 4 mg/h is well tolerated, and has been postulated to be equivalent to approximately 600 mg levodopa/day. This therapy is associated with skin complications, particularly nodule formation, and focal panniculitis is seen in more than 50% of subjects. Optimal dosages for intranasal apomorphine range from 2 to 5 mg per inhalation with benefit seen at 7.5 minutes and duration of effect of 45 to 55 minutes. Side effects included nasal irritation, vestibulitis, dyskinesias, yawning, and nausea. Comparison of 3 mg sc and 30 mg sublingual apomorphine in 9 Parkinson's disease subjects in a blinded cross-over trial found that the time to peak benefit was beyond 40 minutes with sl apomorphine, compared to 21 minutes in the sc preparation. Chronic use of the sublingual formulation was associated with severe stomatitis in half the subjects, and markedly limited the treatment. Rectal administration of apomorphine has been evaluated in limited, usually post-operative settings. Administration of a 200 mg apomorphine rectal suppository resulted in an average time to benefit of 32 minutes with an average duration of 195 minutes. Sedation, nausea and faintness were reported as side effects. Although the diagnostic confirmation potential of this agent has been questioned, the drug may have an important role in evaluating the potential for benefit in the deep brain stimulation surgical setting.