Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

How Effective is Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride)?

Sometimes known as a narcotic, Opana is an effective opioid pain medication. The generic name of Opana is oxymorphone hydrochloride. It is used in treating any level of pain from moderate to severe. The extended-release or ER form of Opana, which is called Opana ER, is for effective treating of severe pain around the clock. This form of Opana is not good to be used as a needed basis for moderate or severe pain.

People with severe breathing problems or asthma, liver disease, or a blockage in their intestines or stomach should not use this medication.

You can experience fatal side effects if you use Opana with alcohol, or together with any drug that slow your breathing or cause drowsiness.

Anyone who is allergic to Opana should not use this medication. You should also not use it if you have the following:

  • Any level of liver disease;
  • A blockage in your intestines or stomach;
  • Severe asthma; or
  • Severe breathing problems

For you to be safe, you should not take Opana before informing your doctor if you have, or ever had the following:

  • Thyroid, pancreas, or gallbladder problems;
  • Kidney or liver problems;
  • Urination problems;
  • Lung disease or any type of breathing problem
  • Mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction;
  • Seizures, brain tumor, or head injury;

Useful Information

Some medicines can interact with this medication and cause serotonin syndrome, which is a very serious condition. It’s very important that you inform your doctor if you are currently taking herbal products, stimulant medicine, or medicine for migraine headache, Parkinson’s disease, serious infection, mental illness, depression, or prevention of vomiting or nausea. Do not change the time, or how you take Opana before consulting your doctor.

Using this medication while you are pregnant could make your baby become dependent on it, which may cause severe withdrawal symptoms in your baby after it is born. In this case, your baby may need special medical treatment for some weeks.

Even though it is not clear whether this drug passes into breast milk, or whether it is harmful to a nursing baby, you should inform your doctor if you are still breast-feeding a baby.

How to Use Opana?

You should take Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride) as per the prescription. Stick to what is on your prescription label. When you start using Opana, or change the dose, your breathing might slow or stop. You should never take this medication in larger amounts that prescribed. If you notice that the medicine no longer relieve your pain, inform your doctor immediately.

Be sure to check your bottle to ensure that the pills you have received from a pharmacist are the same brand your doctor had prescribed. If you have any question, don’t fail to ask your pharmacist.

Before you start taking Opana, stop taking any other around-the-clock narcotic pain medication. You should take this medication an hour or more before, or at least 2 hours after having a meal.

Some people tend to abuse Opana. So, you should ensure that no one else is using your medicine.

Be sure not to keep any leftover Opana tablet. Otherwise, someone might use it improperly or accidentally, and this can cause death. Either take back the leftover Opana tablets back to the pharmacy, or flush them down your toilet to reduce the danger of any accidental overdose, which can cause death. The FDA and the manufacturer recommend disposal of this medicine by flushing as the best method of disposal.

What are the Side Effects of Opana?

Whenever you start experiencing difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of throat, tongue, lips, face, or difficulty, or any allergic reaction to this medicine, get medical help immediately.

Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride), just like narcotic medicines, can slow down your breathing, which might cause death if breathing becomes extremely weak.

Whenever you start experiencing slow breathing with blue colored lips, long pauses, or if waking you up becomes hard, then your care giver should seek emergency medical assistance.

Contact your doctor immediately if you start experiencing the below severe side effects of Opana:

Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice symptoms of serotonin syndrome such as fever, hallucinations, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, loss of coordination, twitching, sweating, shivering, agitation, muscle stiffness, or fast heart rate.

Older adults and people who are debilitated or malnourished are more likely to experience serious effects of Opana medication.

Opana medication, if used for a long period, may affect fertility in men and women. It has not been established whether the effects of Opana medication on fertility are permanent.

Some of the most common side effects of Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride) medication include:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 27, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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