What is this medicine?
APOMORPHINE (a poe MOR feen) is used to treat 'off' episodes in advanced Parkinson's disease. These episodes affect your ability to move or perform tasks.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Apokyn
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- feel sleepy or have fallen asleep suddenly during the day
- have trouble controlling your muscles
- heart disease
- history of irregular heart beat
- history of stroke
- if you often drink alcohol
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- low blood pressure
- lung or breathing disease, like asthma
- mental illness
- sleep apnea
- an unusual or allergic reaction to apomorphine, sulfites, other medicines foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is for injection under the skin. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. You will also need to take a medicine prescribed by your doctor to prevent nausea and vomiting when you first start treatment. Use exactly as directed. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply. This medicine is only given as needed to treat 'off' episodes in Parkinson's disease. Contact your health care provider if your symptoms do not respond to the first dose for a particular 'off' episode. Do not use a second dose for that episode. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- some medicines for nausea/vomiting like dolasetron, granisetron, ondansetron, palonosetron
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
- certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- narcotic medicines for pain
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine
- other medicines that prolong the QT interval (an abnormal heart rhythm)
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. This medicine may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure with or without symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, feeling faint, or sweating, especially when you first start treatment or after an increase in dose. Do not get up too quickly from a lying or sitting position. A drop in blood pressure may increase the risk for falling. Report any dizziness or related symptoms to your health care provider as soon as possible. Avoid alcoholic drinks. Alcohol may increase the risk of dizziness, drowsiness, or low blood pressure while taking this medicine. Do not take any medications that cause drowsiness without first checking with your health care provider.
If you find that you have sudden feelings of wanting to sleep during normal activities, like cooking, watching television, or while driving or riding in a car, you should contact your health care professional.
This medicine may cause severe nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to prevent these symptoms. Do not treat yourself. Not all medicines for nausea and vomiting can be used with this medicine. Talk to your doctor about which one may be right for you.
There have been reports of increased sexual urges or other strong urges such as gambling while taking some medicines for Parkinson's disease. If you experience any of these urges while taking this medicine, you should report it to your health care provider as soon as possible.
Using nitroglycerin while taking apomorphine may increase the risk of low blood pressure or a sudden drop in blood pressure. If you are going to take nitroglycerin under the tongue, it is important to lie down first and stay lying down for at least 45 minutes after taking it to reduce the risk of effects from low blood pressure, such as dizziness and falls.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- falling asleep during normal activities like driving
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- hallucination, loss of contact with reality
- increased sweating
- males: prolonged or painful erection
- signs and symptoms of a dangerous change in heartbeat or heart rhythm like chest pain; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; palpitations; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; breathing problems
- signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
- swelling in arms, hands, legs, or feet
- uncontrollable and excessive urges (examples: gambling, binge eating, shopping, having sex)
- uncontrollable head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome)
- pain, redness, or irritation at site where injected
- runny nose
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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