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General Drug Information and IndicationsHow to Give this MedicationSide EffectsPrecautionsDrug InteractionsOverdoseStorageSearch for Available Dosage Forms
Apomorphine is a drug used in dogs to cause them to vomit. It is most commonly used when a dog has been poisoned by eating a toxin, food or plant. Drugs that induce vomiting are called emetics and they are important in the early treatment of some, but not all, poisonings. Emetic drugs generally remove only 40-60% of the stomach contents and they need to be given in the first 4 hours. Cats do not respond consistently to apomorphine.
Your veterinarian will give apomorphine by injection or by placing a quick dissolving tablet in the eyelid tissue around the eye (the conjunctival sac).
Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, this drug is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy.
Give this medication to your dog exactly as your veterinarian prescribes and use only under direct veterinary supervision. There are only limited circumstances when a veterinarian might dispense apomorphine for a client to use at home before bringing the dog to the veterinarian for treatment.
Although conjunctival administration is usually effective, it is not as fast or reliable as the injectable route.
If vomiting does not occur after one dose, do not give more apomorphine as this may increase the likelihood of undesirable side effects or toxicity. You should consult with your veterinarian immediately if the first dose is not effective.
Wash your hands after giving your dog this medication.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately. Apomorphine can cause excitement or depression. Excitement is the more common side effect.
Prolonged vomiting may occur. After treatment under the eyelid, rinsing the conjunctival sac with saline may decrease residual drug absorption.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your dog may be receiving.
Apomorphine should not be used in animals that are known to be hypersensitive to morphine and related drugs.
Drugs that decrease vomiting, such as phenothiazine tranquilzers, may decrease the effectiveness of apomorphine.
If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
Different strengths or dosage forms of apomorphine may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.