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:
- shallow breathing
- sleep apnea
- 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
- sedative benzodiazepines like alprazolam and lorazepam
- muscle relaxants
- drugs that affect serotonin such as mirtazapine and tramadol
- medicine for migraines or Parkinson’s diseases
- some over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements
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.
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:
- swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
- trouble breathing
- severe dizziness
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 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
- pinpoint pupils
- irregular heart rate
- chest pain
- clammy skin
- limp muscles
- numbness in the hands and feet
- respiratory depression
- loss of consciousness
- extreme sleepiness
- slowed heartbeat
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.
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:
- high blood pressure
- muscle and joint pain
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.
To learn more, please call our helpline today.
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.