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Apomorphine HCl for Dogs and Rarely Cats

By Evan Ware, DVM

Commonly prescribed for: Inducing Vomiting

Species: Dogs and Rarely Cats

Therapeutic Class: D2-Dopamine-Receptor Agonist

Basic Information

Apomorphine is a D2-dopamine-receptor agonist and a derivative of the narcotic drug morphine. However, unlike morphine, it is not used in veterinary medicine to alleviate pain.

The primary function of Apomorphine is to induce vomiting. This medication is chiefly used on dogs. Administering to cats has been shown to cause an excitatory reaction, though in some cases, the medication can be used on felines.

Apomorphine typically is used in the hospital under the direct supervision of the prescribing veterinarian.

Veterinary Medicine Uses for Apomorphine

Apomorphine targets and stimulates specific dopamine receptors in the brain that induce vomiting.

Potential Side-Effects of Apomorphine

Apomorphine generally can be considered appropriate when prescribed and administered by a veterinarian, but there are some precautions that should be followed. Apomorphine should not be used to induce vomiting on a dog with hypersensitivity to the drug or a known allergy to it.

If the animal is physically weak, comatose, experiencing a seizure, or having difficulty breathing, the medication should not be administered. Apomorphine also should be avoided if the animal has already vomited or ingested caustic agents, petroleum distillates, or acid, as regurgitation could cause further damage.

If the animal does not vomit after a first dose, more doses should not be given, as it will more than likely not induce vomiting. More doses could result in toxicity.

Potential side-effects include excitement, restlessness, nervous system depression, or respiratory depression. Side effects such as these are most common when the animal receives a larger than necessary dose.

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Popular Apomorphine HCl Dosage Forms

Apomorphine: Injection Solution

Apomorphine: Injection Solution

Sterile solution intended for injection.

Apomorphine: Tablet

Apomorphine: Tablet

Compressed dry ingredients in a solid oral dosage form.