Eleven patients with levodopa-related motor fluctuations were scored before and after intranasal apomorphine monotherapy, and the motor responses were compared with those with levodopa/carbidopa in this openlabel study. Oral trimethobenzamide was used to prevent apomorphineinduced nausea. Three measures of motor performance were employed: (a) the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor battery; (b) a timed hand-tapping test; and (c) the Webster's step-seconds test. The magnitude of the motor-score improvement after apomorphine administration was very similar to that after the usual doses of levodopa/carbidopa in the 10 patients completing the study; this was true for all three outcome measures. A major advantage of apomorphine was the rapid onset of clinical response, which typically occurred in <10 min, as well as the ease of administration. Major side effects, beyond those experienced with levodopa/carbidopa, were limited to nausea and vomiting (three patients) and orthostatic hypotension (one patient); however, only a single patient dropped out of the study as a consequence. These results indicate that intranasal apomorphine is effective in rapidly relieving parkinsonian “off” states and that, for most patients, trimethobenzamide is an effective and well-tolerated antiemetic for use with apomorphine.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. B. Dewey, Jr., at Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75235-8897, U.S.A.
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