Apomorphine nodules in Parkinson's disease: best practice considerations

Br J Community Nurs. 2008 Oct;13(10):457-63. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2008.13.10.31182.


Apomorphine hydrochloride infusion therapy is used by approximately 1000 people with advanced Parkinson's disease in the UK (Britannia Pharmaceuticals Ltd, 2008). Subcutaneous nodules that develop as a result of these infusions can cause discomfort and may impact on the effectiveness of the drug therapy. Community nursing teams have a key role in supporting patients on apomorphine; they may be responsible for administering the drug, or supporting and empowering the patient or their carer to administer the infusion. A recent randomized controlled pilot study by a research group at the University of Hertfordshire investigated the use of therapeutic ultrasound for the treatment of apomorphine nodules. A number of observations about apomorphine nodules and the technique used to site infusions were made which may help to promote safe and effective management of apomorphine therapy. This article is a collaboration between one of the researchers and a Parkinson's disease nurse specialist from the University College of London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It draws on best practice observations from both research and clinical experience and puts them in context of published research. It summarizes best practice considerations for administering infusions, identifies the current treatment and management options that participants from the trial reported using on their nodules, emphasizes the need for standardized documentation and suggests a rating system that may be useful to document nodule severity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects*
  • Apomorphine / administration & dosage
  • Apomorphine / adverse effects*
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology
  • Drug Eruptions / prevention & control
  • Drug Eruptions / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Subcutaneous / adverse effects*
  • Infusions, Subcutaneous / methods*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Apomorphine