Generic Name: oxymorphone (ox ee MOR fone)
Brand Name: Opana, Opana ER, Numorphan HCl
What is oxymorphone?
Oxymorphone is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Oxymorphone is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
The extended-release form of this medicine is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. This form of oxymorphone is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.
Oxymorphone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about oxymorphone?
You should not use this medicine if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or moderate to severe liver disease.
Oxymorphone can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose. Oxymorphone may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Oxymorpone may cause life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in your newborn if you use the medication during pregnancy.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with oxymorphone.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using oxymorphone?
You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to oxymorphone, or if you have:
severe asthma or breathing problems;
a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or
moderate to severe liver disease.
To make sure oxymorphone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
liver or kidney problems; or
problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.
Oxymorphone is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether oxymorphone will harm an unborn baby. Oxymorphone may cause breathing problems, behavior changes, or life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in your newborn if you use the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether oxymorphone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use oxymorphone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Oxymorphone can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never use oxymorphone in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Oxymorphone may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away oxymorphone is against the law.
Always check your bottle to make sure you have received the correct pills (same brand and type) of medicine prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.
Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking oxymorphone.
Take oxymorphone on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
Some forms of oxymorphone are made with ingredients that are not absorbed in the body. Part of the tablet may appear in your stool. This is a normal side effect of oxymorphone and will not make the medication less effective.
Do not stop using oxymorphone suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using oxymorphone.
Never crush or break a oxymorphone pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of oxymorphone and similar prescription drugs.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Oxymorphone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
After you have stopped using this medication, flush any unused pills down the toilet. Disposal of medicines by flushing is recommended to reduce the danger of accidental overdose causing death. This advice applies to a very small number of medicines only. The FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal and presents the least risk to human safety.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since oxymorphone is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A oxymorphone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, fainting, or coma.
What should I avoid while using oxymorphone?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with oxymorphone. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how oxymorphone will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Oxymorphone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus;
stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath; or
Common side effects may include:
stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea;
dizziness, drowsiness, headache, tired feeling;
dry mouth, increased sweating;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
mild rash or itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: oxymorphone side effects (in more detail)
Oxymorphone Dosing Information
Usual Adult Dose for Pain:
Subcutaneous or intramuscular: 1 mg to 1.5 mg repeated every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
Intravenous: 0.5 mg as an initial dose. In non-debilitated patients the dose can be cautiously increased until satisfactory pain relief is obtained.
Rectal: one suppository (5 mg) every 4 to 6 hours. In non-debilitated patients the dose can be cautiously increased until satisfactory pain relief is obtained.
Oral Immediate Release Tablets (Opana [R]):
Initiation of Therapy for Patients Who Are Not Opioid-Experienced:
Patients who have not been receiving opioid analgesics should be started on Opana (R) in a dosing range of 10 to 20 mg every four to six hours depending on the initial pain intensity. If deemed necessary to initiate therapy at a lower dose, patients may be started with Opana (R) 5 mg. The dose should be titrated based upon the individual patient response to their initial dose of Opana (R). This dose can then be adjusted to an acceptable level of analgesia taking into account the pain intensity and side effects experienced by the patient. Initiation of therapy with doses higher than 20 mg is not recommended because of potential serious side effects.
Conversion from Parenteral Oxymorphone to Opana (R):
Given the absolute oral bioavailability of approximately 10%, patients receiving parenteral oxymorphone may be converted to Opana (R) by administering 10 times the patient's total daily parenteral oxymorphone dose as Opana, in four or six equally divided doses. The dose can be titrated to optimal pain relief or combined with acetaminophen/NSAIDs for optimal pain relief. Due to patient variability with regard to opioid analgesic response, upon conversion patients should be closely monitored to ensure adequate analgesia and to minimize side effects.
Oral Extended Release Tablets (Opana ER [R]) :
Initiation of Therapy for Patients Who Are Not Opioid-Experienced:
Chronic around-the-clock opioid therapy may be started with Opana ER (R) 5 mg every 12 hours. Thereafter, it is recommended that the dose be individually titrated, preferably at increments of 5 to 10 mg every 12 hours every 3 to 7 days, to a level that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes side effects under the close supervision of the prescribing physician.
Initiation of Therapy for Opioid-Experienced Patients:
(Conversion from Opana [R] to Opana ER [R])
Patients receiving Opana (R) may be converted to Opana ER (R) by administering half the patient's total daily oral Opana (R) dose as Opana ER (R), every 12 hours.
Conversion from Parenteral Oxymorphone to Opana ER (R):
Given the absolute oral bioavailability of approximately 10%, patients receiving parenteral oxymorphone may be converted to Opana ER (R) by administering 10 times the patient's total daily parenteral oxymorphone dose as Opana ER (R) in two equally divided doses. For example, approximately 20 mg of Opana ER (R), every 12 hours, may be required to provide pain relief equivalent to a total daily dose of 4 mg of parenteral oxymorphone. Due to patient variability with regards to opioid analgesic response, upon conversion patients should be closely monitored to ensure adequate analgesia and to minimize side effects.
Opana ER (R) should be administered on an empty stomach, at least one hour prior to or two hours after eating.
Usual Adult Dose for Labor Pain:
During labor: 0.5 mg to 1.0 mg intramuscularly
What other drugs will affect oxymorphone?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking oxymorphone with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with oxymorphone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about oxymorphone
- Oxymorphone extended-release tablets
- Oxymorphone suppositories
- Oxymorphone tablets
- Oxymorphone (Advanced Reading)
- Oxymorphone Injection (Advanced Reading)
Compare with other treatments for:
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about oxymorphone.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.04. Revision Date: 2014-01-13, 6:04:35 PM.