A novel sublingual apomorphine treatment for patients with fluctuating Parkinson's disease

William G. Ondo, Christine Hunter, Michael Almaguer, Joseph Jankovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We tested a novel preparation of a sublingual apomorphine hydrochloride tablet (APO) in 10 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease complicated by motor fluctuations. After a dose titration, patients took either 40 mg APO three times per day alternating with levodopa doses (eight patients) or six doses of 20 mg APO taken concurrently with levodopa doses (two patients) for 3 months. Assessments included timed tapping and ambulation tests, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), and patient diaries. Tapping speed while taking only APO (12 hours after stopping levodopa) was faster than while taking only levodopa (p < 0.05). The daily levodopa dose decreased by 32.1% (p < 0.01), yet the total 'on' time increased from 73.5% ± 10.2% to 81.5% ± 7.5% of the day (p < 0.01) after starting APO. 'On' UPDRS part II scores(p < 0.05) and 'on' UPDRS part III (motor examination) scores (p < 0.05) also improved. Adverse events such as nausea, orthostatic hypotension, and disagreeable taste did not limit the dose of APO in any case. The short-term benefit and tolerability demonstrated in this study warrant further study of this new APO preparation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-668
Number of pages5
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Apomorphine
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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