Medical symbolDirectory of Drugs: Prescription symbol ApokynŽ - apomorphine hydrochloride



Brand Name: Apokyn®
Active Ingredient: apomorphine hydrochloride
Strength(s): 10 mg/ml
Dosage Form(s): Injection
Company Name: Mylan Bertek Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Availability: Prescription only
Date Approved by FDA: April 20, 2004


What is Apokyn used for?    

Apokyn is used by injection, as needed, only to treat loss of control of body movements in people with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). This condition is also called hypomobility or “off” episodes. An "off" episode may include symptoms such as muscle stiffness, slow movements, and difficulty starting movements. Apokyn may improve your ability to control your movements when it is used during an “off” episode. This may help you walk, talk, or move around easier. Apokyn is not used to prevent “off” episodes. Apokyn does not take the place of your other medicines for PD. 

Who should not take Apokyn?         

Do not take Apokyn if you are:

  • allergic to Apokyn or to any of its ingredients.  Apokyn contains a sulfite called metabisulfite. Sulfites can cause severe, life-threatening allergic reactions in some people, especially in people with asthma.
  • being treated with certain drugs to treat nausea and vomiting or irritable bowel syndrome. These medications (including, for example, ondansetron, granisetron, dolasetron, palonosetron, and alosetron) are called 5HT3 antagonists or blockers. People taking this type of drug together with apomorphine have had severely low blood pressure and lost consciousness or “blacked out.”

Special Warning(s) with Apokyn:    

  •        Apokyn should be injected just under the skin (subcutaneously), and not into a vein.
  •         Carefully read the Apokyn “Instructions for Use" for complete instructions on preparing and giving an injection of Apokyn.  Do not inject Apokyn unless you and your caregiver have been taught the right way and both of you understand all the directions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

General Precautions with Apokyn:

  • Do not drink alcohol or take medicines that make you sleepy while you are taking Apokyn.
  • Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do anything that might put you at risk of getting

hurt until you know how Apokyn affects you. Apokyn may cause dizziness or fainting.   Do not change your body position too fast. Get up slowly from sitting or lying. Apokyn can lower your blood pressure and cause dizziness or fainting.  

What should I tell my health care provider?

Tell your health care provider if you:

  • have dizziness
  • have fainting spells
  • have low blood pressure
  • have asthma
  • are allergic to sulfites or sulfa medicines
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • have heart problems
  • have had a stroke or other brain problems
  • have a mental problem called a major psychotic disorder
  • drink alcohol
  • are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding

Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.  Especially tell your health care provider if you take:

  •        medicines to treat nausea, vomiting, or irritable bowel syndrome including 5HT3 antagonists or blockers such as ondansteron (Zofran®), granisteron (Kytril®), dolasteron (Anzemet®), palonosteron (Aloxi®)
  •       vasodilators and other medicines that lower blood pressure
  •       medicines that make you sleepy

What are some possible side effects of Apokyn? (This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Apokyn.  Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)

Some common side effects with Apokyn include:

  • heart problems (shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, chest pain)
  • severe nausea and vomiting
  • sleepiness or falling asleep during the day  
  • falls 
  • sudden uncontrolled movements 
  • dizziness 
  • hallucinations 
  • depression 
  • headache  
  • injection site reactions 
  • swelling of arms/legs 
  • increased sweating 
  • flushing 
  • paleness 
  • yawning 
  • runny nose

Dated posted: 7/29/04

Updated: 12/29/04


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