Practical considerations in the use of apomorphine injectable.Neurology. 2004 Mar 23; 62(6 Suppl 4):S32-6.Neur
This manuscript provides a practical summary of guidelines for institution of apomorphine subcutaneous injectable therapy, including patient education, pre-treatment issues, dosage titration and side-effect care. The timing of each injection is crucial if an impending "off" period is to be averted. Patients need to be aware of symptoms of an approaching "off" period, and the injection should be administered at the onset or ideally, in anticipation of an "off" episode. Patients being considered for apomorphine treatment should undergo pre-treatment assessment and optimization of ongoing oral therapy prior to initiation. Education and counseling regarding the benefits of apomorphine can often alleviate this. In addition, and where available, it is beneficial to provide the patient and caregiver(s) with additional written information and videos provided by the manufacturer demonstrating the operation of the pump or pen injection systems. Once a patient has been assessed as being a suitable candidate for apomorphine, an apomorphine challenge is performed to determine responsiveness and guide appropriate dosing, establish an individual dose, and to observe for side effects, such as nausea, postural hypotension, excessive somnolence, or dyskinesia. Three days prior to the challenge, domperidone 20 mg tid or trimethobenzamide (Tigan) 300 mg tid is recommended. Potential side effects include yawning, dopaminergic side effects, such as dyskinesias, nausea, orthostatic hypotension, confusion, hallucinations, somnolence and rarely, hypersexuality or other behavioral disturbances, and skin nodule formation.