April 29, 2017
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Side Effects


The following adverse reactions are discussed in more detail in the Warnings and Precautions section of labeling:

Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, the incidence of adverse reactions (number of unique patients experiencing an adverse reaction associated with treatment per total number of patients treated) observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to the incidence of adverse reactions in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the incidence of adverse reactions observed in practice.

In placebo-controlled trials, most patients received only one subcutaneous dose of APOKYN. All patients received concomitant levodopa and 86% received a concomitant dopamine agonist. All patients had some degree of spontaneously occurring periods of hypomobility (“off episodes”) at baseline.

The most common adverse reactions (APOKYN incidence at least 10% greater than placebo incidence) observed in a placebo-controlled trial were yawning, drowsiness/somnolence, dyskinesias, dizziness/postural hypotension, rhinorrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, hallucination/confusion, and edema/swelling of extremities.

Table 1 presents the most common adverse reactions reported by APOKYN-na´ve Parkinson's disease patients who were enrolled in a randomized placebo-controlled, parallel group trial and who were treated for up to 4 weeks (Study 1) [see Clinical Studies]. Individual APOKYN doses in this trial ranged from 2 mg to 10 mg, and were titrated to achieve tolerability and control of symptoms.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Occurring in Two or More APOKYN-Treated Patients in Study 1

(n = 20)%
(n = 9)%
Yawning 40 0
Dyskinesias 35 11
Drowsiness or Somnolence 35 0
Nausea and/or Vomiting 30 11
Dizziness or Postural Hypotension 20 0
Rhinorrhea 20 0
Chest Pain/Pressure/Angina 15 11
Hallucination or Confusion 10 0
Edema/Swelling of Extremities 10 0

Other Adverse Reactions

Injection Site Reactions

Patients treated with APOKYN subcutaneous injections during clinical studies, 26% of patients had injection site reactions, including bruising (16%), granuloma (4%), and pruritus (2%).

In addition to those in Table 1, the most common adverse reactions in pooled APOKYN trials (occurring in at least 5% of the patients) in descending order were injection site reaction, fall, arthralgia, insomnia, headache, depression, urinary tract infection, anxiety, congestive heart failure, limb pain, back pain, Parkinson's disease aggravated, pneumonia, confusion, sweating increased, dyspnea, fatigue, ecchymosis, constipation, diarrhea, weakness, and dehydration.

Read the Apokyn (apomorphine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


5HT3 Antagonists

Based on reports of profound hypotension and loss of consciousness when APOKYN was administered with ondansetron, the concomitant use of APOKYN with 5HT3 antagonists including antiemetics (for example, ondansetron, granisetron, dolasetron, palonosetron) and alosetron, is contraindicated.

Antihypertensive Medications And Vasodilators

The following adverse events were experienced more commonly in patients receiving concomitant antihypertensive medications or vasodilators (n = 94) compared to patients not receiving these concomitant drugs (n = 456): hypotension 10% vs 4%, myocardial infarction 3% vs 1%, serious pneumonia 5% vs 3%, serious falls 9% vs 3%, and bone and joint injuries 6% vs 2%. The mechanism underlying many of these events is unknown, but may represent increased hypotension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Dopamine Antagonists

Since APOKYN is a dopamine agonist, it is possible that concomitant use of dopamine antagonists, such as the neuroleptics (phenothiazines, butyrophenones, thioxanthenes) or metoclopramide, may diminish the effectiveness of APOKYN. Patients with major psychotic disorders, treated with neuroleptics, should be treated with dopamine agonists only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Drugs Prolonging the QT/QTc Interval Caution should be exercised when prescribing APOKYN concomitantly with drugs that prolong the QT/QTc interval [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Drug Abuse And Dependence


In premarketing clinical experience, APOKYN did not reveal any tendency for a withdrawal syndrome or any drug-seeking behavior. However, there are rare postmarketing reports of abuse of medications containing APOKYN or levodopa. In general, these reports consist of patients taking increasing doses of medication in order to achieve a euphoric state.

Read the Apokyn Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/31/2017

Side Effects

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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