Oxymorphone Side Effects, Interactions, & Complications

Oxymorphone comes with a number of serious side effects and complications.

Oxymorphone is an opioid analgesic medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. It binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system and changes how the body responds to and feels pain.

It comes in an immediate-release and extended-release tablet and is usually found under the brand name Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride) or Opana ER.

Oxymorphone is classified as a schedule II controlled substance by the FDA. This means it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to tolerance and physical dependence.

The drug also comes with a number of serious side effects and complications. Some of these issues don’t need medical attention, but others can be life-threatening.

Side Effects Of Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone comes with a long list of adverse effects that range from mild to very serious. No matter how intense the side effects are, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider so they can adjust your medication if needed.

Oxymorphone side effects may include:

  • nausea/vomiting
  • fever
  • constipation
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness/tiredness
  • shallow breathing
  • sleep apnea
  • agitation
  • confusion
  • fast heartbeat
  • difficulty urinating
  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth
  • muscle stiffness
  • loss of coordination
  • irregular menstruation
  • decreased sexual desire

Oxymorphone Drug Interactions

Oxymorphone can also negatively interact with certain drugs, including:

  • other opioid pain medications like oxycodone, hydromorphone, or hydrocodone
  • opioid agonists/antagonists like butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, and buprenorphine
  • alcohol
  • marijuana
  • sedative benzodiazepines like alprazolam and lorazepam
  • muscle relaxants
  • antihistamines
  • drugs that affect serotonin such as mirtazapine and tramadol
  • stimulants
  • medicine for migraines or Parkinson’s diseases
  • some over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements

Oxymorphone Complications

There can also be some complications when taking oxymorphone. If you have pre-existing conditions, are pregnant, breastfeeding, end up overdosing, or try to quit oxymorphone after taking it for a long time, there are some complications to be aware of.

Allergic Reactions

Oxymorphone can cause a serious allergic reaction if you’re allergic to any of its ingredients. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:

  • hives
  • swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
  • trouble breathing
  • rash
  • itching
  • severe dizziness

Pre-Existing Conditions

There are quite a few health conditions that oxymorphone doesn’t work well with. The pain relief medication can actually make the following conditions worse:

  • brain disorders like a head injury or tumor
  • breathing problems
  • gallbladder disease
  • kidney disease
  • adrenal or hormone issues
  • low blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • mental health or mood disorders
  • stomach/intestinal problems like an intestinal blockage or paralytic ileus (intestine muscles paralyzed)
  • personal or family history of a substance use disorder

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Oxymorphone is also not recommended for anyone who is pregnant as the baby can become dependent on the drug. Once the baby is born, they can experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when they’re no longer receiving the drug.

Breastfeeding while on oxymorphone can also be a problem. Some of the pain medication can transfer into breast milk and eventually reach the baby.

Oxymorphone Overdose

Oxymorphone use can lead to an overdose if you’re abusing it or mixing it with other substances.

Signs of an overdose can include:

  • blue skin, lips, or nails
  • dizziness
  • pinpoint pupils
  • drowsiness
  • irregular heart rate
  • chest pain
  • clammy skin
  • limp muscles
  • numbness in the hands and feet
  • respiratory depression
  • loss of consciousness
  • extreme sleepiness
  • slowed heartbeat
  • unresponsiveness

If your doctor prescribed oxymorphone, make sure to talk to them about having access to naloxone (Narcan). It can reverse the symptoms of an overdose very quickly.

But, whether you have naloxone or not, if you or a loved one is experiencing any signs of overdose, call 911 or seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’ve been taking oxymorphone for a long period of time or in high doses, there is an increased risk of building up a physical or psychological dependence.

Once you’ve built up a dependence, your body no longer knows how to function properly without the prescription drug. If you try to quit, your body likely responds with withdrawal symptoms, which can include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • tremors
  • high blood pressure
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • muscle and joint pain
  • fever
  • chills
  • sweating

Treatment For Oxymorphone Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with oxymorphone addiction or another form of drug abuse, there are lots of addiction treatment options available.

The process likely begins with a detox program where you can safely withdraw from the drug while healthcare professionals supervise your care. After detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment is the next step.

At Northeast Addiction Treatment Center, we offer a variety of treatment services including outpatient programs, medication-assisted treatment, and multiple forms of specialized therapy.

To learn more, please call our helpline today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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