mise à jour du 1 août 2002
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry
1989; 13; 3-4; 329-39
Apomorphine: clinical studies
on erectile impotence and yawning
Samarthji Lal, Yoseph Tesfaye, Joseph Thavundayil,
Bernardo Dubrovsky
Douglas Hospital Research Center; Department of Psychiatry, Montreal General
A trial of subcutaneously injected apomorphine for parkinsonian
  1. The erectile response to the short-acting dopamine (DA) receptor agonist, apomorphine (Apo) HCl (0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0 mg sc), and placebo was evaluated in 28 impotent patients and penile circumference monitored using a mercury strain gauge and strip chart recording.
  2. A full erection (increment in penile circumference greater than 2 cm and lasting at least one minute) occurred in 17 patients with Apo; no erection developed after placebo. An erection occurred in 6/8 patients with impaired glucose tolerance, 2/6 patients with diabetes mellitus and in both patients on lithium.
  3. Nine patients who responded to Apo were treated in an open trial with bromocriptine; 6 reported improvement in potency.
  4. Impairment in DA function may play a role in idiopathic impotence and in impotence associated with impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes mellitus.
  5. An erectile response to Apo may predict therapeutic response to bromocriptine or other long acting dopaminergic agents.
  6. Lithium, which inhibits DA-sensitive adenylate cyclase, does not prevent Apo-induced erections. This provides further support indicating that Apo induces erections by an effect on D2 receptors.
  7. The yawning response to placebo and four doses of Apo HC1 (3.5, 5.0, 7.0, and 10.5 ug/kg sc) was evaluated in five normal men using a polygraphic technique. The yawning response was also assessed in normal young (less than 30 yrs; N = 16) and elderly (greater than 60 yrs; N = 12) volunteers.
  8. Under experimental conditions of study, placebo induced spontaneous yawning. This was antagonized by 3.5 and 5.0 ug/kg Apo HC1 but increased by 7.0 ug/kg Apo HC1. These observations are compatible with the view that Apo HC1 in doses of 3.5-5.0 ug/kg stimulates presynaptic DA receptors whereas 7.0 ug/kg stimulates postsynaptic DA receptors.
  9. Spontaneous and Apo-induced yawning were significantly decreased in the elderly which suggests that D2 receptor function declines with normal aging.