Time course of tolerance to apomorphine in parkinsonism

Stephen T. Gancher, John G. Nutt, William R. Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We sought to determine if tolerance developed to the antiparkinsonian effects of apomorphine and, if so, what temporal factors influenced its development. Seven patients with parkinsonism and motor fluctuations received short (6‐hour) and long (22‐ to 31‐hour) apomorphine infusions. Tolerance was evaluated by comparison of the responses to test doses of apomorphine that were administered before and after each infusion. The responses to the test doses that followed either infusion were reduced by 35% after the short infusion and by 68% after the long infusion, although plasma apomorphine levels were similar to or higher than levels achieved with preinfusion test doses. The duration of improvement in parkinsonism after discontinuation of the long infusion was briefer than that after the short infusion. We conclude that tolerance to apomorphine occurs in parkinsonism, and the loss of response is greater after longer periods of drug administration. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (1992) 52, 504–510; doi:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-510
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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