• Commonly prescribed for: Inducing Vomiting
  • Species: Dogs and Rarely Cats
  • Therapeutic Class: D2-Dopamine-Receptor Agonist

Basic Information:

Apomorphine HCl is a D2-dopamine-receptor agonist that effectively induces vomiting in dogs, making it a crucial drug in cases of toxin ingestion. Unlike its parent compound, morphine, apomorphine is not used for pain relief but specifically for its emetic properties. It is most commonly administered in a controlled hospital environment under close veterinary supervision.

Veterinary Medicine Uses:

This medication activates dopamine receptors in the brain's chemoreceptor trigger zone to prompt vomiting. It is typically used in emergencies where rapid expulsion of ingested toxins is critical. While it is primarily used in dogs, its use in cats is limited due to a tendency to cause excitatory effects rather than the desired emetic response.

Potential Side-Effects:

  • Common: Temporary excitement or restlessness, mild respiratory depression.
  • Less Common: Severe CNS depression if overdosed, possible respiratory depression in sensitive individuals.


  • Apomorphine should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity to the drug.
  • It is contraindicated in animals that are comatose, seizing, or in respiratory distress.
  • Caution is advised when the ingested material is caustic or a petroleum distillate, as induced vomiting could worsen the condition.
  • Repeated dosing is not recommended if initial administration does not induce vomiting, as this could lead to toxicity.

Drug Interactions:

Veterinarians must consider interactions with other medications the animal might be taking, as apomorphine can interact with various drugs, potentially leading to adverse effects.