Dopamine hypersensitivity in migraine: Role of the apomorphine test

R. Cerbo, P. Barbanti, M. G. Buzzi, G. Fabbrini, L. Brusa, C. Roberti, E. Zanette, G. L. Lenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the effects of apomorphine administration at two different doses (2-10 μg/kg, s.c.) in 35 migraineurs in headache-free period and in 20 age-matched healthy control subjects, with and without pretreatment with domperidone. Neither patients or controls complained of headache at either dose, whereas at the dose of 10 μg/kg migraineurs showed a statistically significant higher incidence of dopaminergic symptoms (nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, yawning, dizziness, sweating) than controls. Furthermore, symptoms due to postsynaptic dopamine receptors activation (i.e., nausea and vomiting) only appeared in migraineurs. No symptom, however, resembled those characterizing a spontaneous migraine attack. In conclusion, migraineurs show a lower threshold for dopamine receptor activation than normal subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Apomorphine
  • Domperidone
  • Dopamine receptors
  • Migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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