Absorption of apomorphine by various routes in parkinsonism

Mov Disord. 1991;6(3):212-6. doi: 10.1002/mds.870060304.


We wanted to determine the absorption and clinical effect of sublingual (SL) and transdermal apomorphine in parkinsonism. Patients received single SL apomorphine doses (N = 7) and the absorption was compared with parenteral (N = 5) and oral (N = 4) doses. One patient received a transdermal dose of apomorphine. The relative bioavailability of SL apomorphine ranged from 10 to 22% of a parenteral apomorphine dose. Oral apomorphine was less than 4% bioavailable, and the transdermal dose did not produce detectable plasma levels. Three patients with motor fluctuations responded to SL apomorphine, with a latency to effect of 20-40 min and a duration of effect of 15-100 min. One patient used SL apomorphine as an adjunct with levodopa, and during 1 month reported a large decrease in "off" periods. We conclude that apomorphine is effectively absorbed by the sublingual route.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Sublingual
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / administration & dosage
  • Apomorphine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Apomorphine / therapeutic use
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism


  • Levodopa
  • Apomorphine