Is Oxymorphone An Opioid Or Opiate?

Oxymorphone is an opioid. Opioids refer to all-natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic opioids.

Oxymorphone is classified as a schedule II opioid analgesic drug. Opana and Opana ER are the brand names for oxymorphone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), oxymorphone is a prescription opioid known as a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic.

Examples of semi-synthetic opioid analgesic prescription drugs include oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, and hydromorphone. These types of opioid medications are typically used to treat severe pain.

The Difference Between An Opioid & Opiate

The CDC states that opioids refer to all-natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic opioids. Opiates, however, only refer to the opioids that occur naturally, such as morphine or heroin.

Pain medications such as oxymorphone may be used to treat those suffering from chronic pain but can lead to substance abuse, causing a wide range of side effects to occur. Both natural opioids (opiates) and synthetic opioids can be habit-forming.

Side Effects Of Opioids

Opioids affect the central nervous system (CNS) by activating opioid receptors in the brain. This causes a sedative effect which can help with pain relief.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved oxymorphone hydrochloride for both immediate-release and extended-release tablets. Therefore, side effects can vary depending on the type of use and prescribed pain management.

Short-Term Effects

Short-term side effects of opioids include:

  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • ​dry mouth
  • nausea
  • headache
  • itching
  • sweating
  • nervousness
  • decreased urination
  • dizziness

Long-Term Effects

Those who take opioids for long-term use may experience the following side effects:

  • mental health problems such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression
  • irregular breathing
  • intense stomach pain or severe constipation
  • hallucinations
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • confusion

Oxymorphone Complications

More serious side effects and complications can arise when a person develops a physical dependence to opioid medications like oxymorphone.

Combining Medications

Since opioids such as oxymorphone are CNS depressants, it’s important to inform the doctor prescribing your medication of any other medications you take.

When taken with oxymorphone or other opioids, CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines and alcohol can lead to serious adverse effects such as an overdose.

Oxymorphone Overdose

One of the complications that can occur when opioids are abused is an overdose. Because opioids can be misused and abused, those addicted to the drug may begin taking it in higher doses. If you suspect that an overdose has occurred, contact 911 right away.

Symptoms of an oxymorphone overdose can include:

  • respiratory depression
  • cardiac arrest
  • circulatory collapse
  • decrease in blood pressure
  • clammy skin
  • constricted pupils
  • decrease in heart rate
  • coma

Opioid overdoses can occur more easily depending on if the person is injecting, snorting, or ingesting the drug. Ingestion of a single dose has a half-life of 7-9 hours, which means the drug remains in your system during this time.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Those addicted to oxymorphone can develop withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • restlessness
  • watery eyes
  • back pain
  • chills
  • yawning
  • runny nose
  • anxiety
  • loss of appetite
  • fast heartbeat and breathing
  • diarrhea

Oxymorphone Addiction Treatment

An opioid addiction can become severe and may require specific treatment options suggested by addiction treatment specialists or your healthcare provider.


The detoxification process must be completed before initiating certain medications to treat the addiction to opioids. A medical detox program helps stabilize and monitor patients during opioid withdrawal.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a buprenorphine/naloxone combination (Suboxone), as well as an extended-release naltrexone formulation, can be effective in treating opioid addiction.

Another approved medication for treating opioid use disorder is methadone. Any medication prescribed as part of a medication-assisted treatment program is likely combined with group therapy and peer support.

To learn about outpatient treatment options, including medication-assisted treatment, please contact us today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.