Apomorphine tolerance in Parkinson's disease: Lack of a dose effect

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The development of tolerance to dopaminergic drugs may be important in the long-term therapy of Parkinson's disease. In this study, we sought to determine whether tolerance developed during infusions of apomorphine and if there was evidence of any dose dependency. Eight patients with Parkinson's disease received 4- to 6-h infusions of apomorphine at low, medium, and high rates on consecutive days. Before and after each infusion, test boluses of apomorphine were administered to measure sensitivity to the drug. The duration of motor effects after the postinfusion boluses were reduced in comparison to those of the preinfusion boluses, indicating that tolerance developed during the infusions. The infusion rate did not affect the responses to the postinfusion test boluses. Our observations indicate that tolerance develops to the antiparkinsonian effect of apomorphine after several hours of its constant infusion, but is not influenced by the dose of drug administered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalClinical neuropharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Apomorphine
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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