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Apomorphine is historically a morphine decomposition product made by boiling morphine with concentrated acid, hence the -morphine suffix. Contrary to its name, apomorphine does not actually contain morphine or its skeleton, nor does it bind to opioid receptors. The apo- prefix relates to it being a morphine derivative ("[comes] from morphine").

Historically, apomorphine has been tried for a variety of uses, including as a way to relieve anxiety and craving in alcoholics and as an emetic (to induce vomiting).

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects when first beginning therapy with apomorphine. Other side effects include orthostatic hypotension and resultant fainting, sleepiness, dizziness, runny nose, sweating, paleness, and flushing.

Apomorphine in the works by Agatha Christie[]