Apokyn (apomorphine hydrochloride) is a prescription drug used to treat certain symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s disease. Apokyn comes as a liquid solution for injection under the skin. It’s usually given as needed to manage symptoms.

Apokyn is used to treat immediate “off” episode symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) in adults. An off episode is when Parkinson’s symptoms flare up suddenly, which can occur when your medication starts to wear off between doses.

The active ingredient in Apokyn is apomorphine hydrochloride. Apokyn belongs to a group of drugs called dopamine agonists.

This article describes the dosages of Apokyn, as well as its strength and how it’s administered. To learn more about Apokyn, see this in-depth article.

This section describes the usual dosages of Apokyn. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Apokyn’s form?

Apokyn comes as a liquid solution given as an injection under your skin. It comes in single-dose cartridges with an injection pen.

What strength does Apokyn come in?

Apokyn is available in one strength of 30 milligrams (mg) per 3 milliliters (mL) or 10 mg/mL.

What are the usual dosages of Apokyn?

Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose to see how you respond to Apokyn. Then they’ll slowly adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dose that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to use the dosage your doctor prescribes. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for off episodes related to Parkinson’s disease

The typical starting dose of Apokyn to treat immediate off episode symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s is either 0.1 mL or 0.2 mL. Your doctor will give you a test dose first to see how you react to the medication. If needed to manage your symptoms, they may increase your dose gradually to a maximum dose of 0.6 mL.

You’ll receive your first dose of Apokyn at a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. This is because you may experience side effects such as low blood pressure and dizziness. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure after you receive a dose. They’ll also likely give you any dose increases at their office to monitor you for side effects.

Three days before your first dose of Apokyn, your doctor will likely prescribe the anti-nausea medication trimethobenzamide. The usual dosage of this drug is 300 mg taken three times per day. You’ll take trimethobenzamide as long as needed to manage nausea and vomiting from Apokyn. (It’s generally not taken longer than 2 months.)

Apokyn may be used to manage immediate off episode symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s as needed, up to five times per day. Apokyn doses should always be spaced at least 2 hours apart.

If you have questions about your dosage of this drug, talk with your doctor.

Is Apokyn used long term?

Yes, Apokyn is usually a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine it’s safe and effective for managing your off episodes of advanced Parkinson’s, you’ll likely use it long term.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about how long you may use Apokyn.

Dosage adjustments

In some cases, you may need a dosage adjustment for Apokyn.

For example, if you have mild to moderate kidney problems, your doctor will lower your starting dose to 0.1 mL and see how you do with treatment.

If you have questions about any dosage adjustments you may need for Apokyn, talk with your doctor.

The dosage of Apokyn you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of your condition and symptoms
  • your response to treatment
  • your age (adults over the age of 65 years may need dosage adjustments)
  • side effects you may experience
  • other conditions you may have (see the “Dosage adjustments” section above)

Apokyn is available as a liquid solution in cartridges with an injection pen. The drug is given as an injection under the skin of your upper arm, upper leg, or abdominal area.

Here you can see step-by-step instructions from Apokyn’s manufacturer on how to administer the drug.

You’ll receive your first “test” dose in your doctor’s office or a clinic so a healthcare professional can monitor you. This is because Apokyn can cause low blood pressure and dizziness. If you tolerate the drug, your doctor or another healthcare professional will show you (or a caregiver) how to give Apokyn injections at home.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Apokyn, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

Apokyn is only used as needed to manage immediate off episode symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s disease. You won’t use the medication regularly. If you miss a dose of Apokyn when you’re experiencing symptoms, inject it as soon as you remember. Always wait at least 2 hours between injections.

Do not inject more Apokyn than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include loss of consciousness and nausea.

What to do in case you use too much Apokyn

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve injected too much Apokyn. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Apokyn’s dosage.

Can Apokyn be used in dogs? If so, what’s the dosage?

No. Apokyn is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in dogs. It is only approved for use in humans. If you’d like to learn more about Apokyn’s possible use for dogs, talk with your veterinarian.

Do not administer Apokyn or any other medications to a pet without consulting a veterinarian first.

How long does it take for Apokyn to start working?

Apokyn starts to work as soon as 10 minutes after you receive a dose. In studies, most people responded within 20 minutes of receiving a dose of Apokyn.

If you have other questions about what to expect from your Apokyn treatment, talk with your doctor.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by Apokyn’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends this drug, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Remember, you should not change your dosage of Apokyn without your doctor’s recommendation. Only use Apokyn exactly as prescribed.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Examples of questions you may want to ask include:

  • How does the dosage of Apokyn compare with that of opicapone (Ongentys)?
  • Will I need dosage adjustments if I’m taking other medications with Apokyn?
  • Is my dosage of Apokyn based on my body weight?

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.