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Opana Dosage

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 28, 2019.

Generic name: OXYMORPHONE HYDROCHLORIDE 5mg
Dosage form: tablet

2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Instructions

Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5)].

Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient's severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with OPANA and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

OPANA should be administered on an empty stomach, at least one hour prior to or two hours after eating [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

To avoid medication errors, prescribers and pharmacists must be aware that oxymorphone is available as both immediate-release 5 mg and 10 mg tablets and extended-release 5 mg and 10 mg tablets [see Dosage Forms and Strengths (3)].

2.2 Initial Dosage

Use of OPANA as the first Opioid Analgesic

Initiate treatment with OPANA in a dosing range of 10 to 20 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain.

Do not initiate treatment with doses higher than 20 mg because of the potential serious adverse reactions [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

Conversion from Other Opioids to OPANA

There is inter-patient variability in the potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations. Therefore, a conservative approach is advised when determining the total daily dosage of OPANA. It is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour OPANA dosage than to overestimate the 24-hour OPANA dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to overdose.

For conversion from other opioids to OPANA, physicians and other healthcare professionals are advised to refer to published relative potency information, keeping in mind that conversion ratios are only approximate. In general, it is safest to start OPANA therapy by administering half of the calculated total daily dose of OPANA in 4 to 6 equally divided doses, every 4-6 hours. The initial dose of OPANA can be gradually adjusted until adequate pain relief and acceptable side effects have been achieved.

Conversion from Parenteral Oxymorphone to OPANA

Given OPANA’s absolute oral bioavailability of approximately 10%, patients receiving parenteral oxymorphone may be converted to OPANA by administering 10 times the patient’s total daily parenteral oxymorphone dose as OPANA, in four or six equally divided doses (e.g., [IV dose x 10] divided by 4 or 6). For example, approximately 10 mg of OPANA four times daily may be required to provide pain relief equivalent to a total daily IM dose of 4 mg oxymorphone. 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.

Conversion from OPANA to Extended-Release Oxymorphone

The relative bioavailability of OPANA compared to extended-release oxymorphone is unknown, so conversion to extended-release tablets must be accompanied by close observation for signs of excessive sedation and respiratory depression.

2.3 Dosage Modifications in Patients with Mild Hepatic Impairment

OPANA is contraindicated in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment.

Use OPANA with caution in patients with mild hepatic impairment, starting with the lowest dose (e.g., 5 mg) and titrating slowly while carefully monitoring for signs of respiratory and central nervous system depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.4 Dosage Modifications in Patients with Renal Impairment

Use OPANA with caution in patients with creatinine clearance rates less than 50 mL/min., starting with the lowest dose (e.g., 5 mg) and titrating slowly while carefully monitoring for signs of respiratory and central nervous system depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.5 Dosage Modifications in Geriatric Patients

Exercise caution in the selection of the starting dose of OPANA for an elderly patient by starting with the lowest dose (e.g., 5 mg) and titrate slowly while carefully monitoring for signs of respiratory and central nervous system depression [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

2.6 Dosage Modifications with Concomitant Use with Central Nervous System Depressants

OPANA, like all opioid analgesics, should be started at one-third to one-half of the usual dose in patients who are concurrently receiving other central nervous system (CNS) depressants including sedatives or hypnotics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, tranquilizers, and alcohol, because respiratory depression, hypotension and profound sedation, coma or death may result [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) and Drug Interactions (7)]. When combined therapy with any of the above medications is considered, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced.

2.7 Titration and Maintenance of Therapy

Individually titrate OPANA to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving OPANA to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration.

If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the OPANA dosage. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.

2.8 Safe Reduction or Discontinuation of OPANA Tablets

Do not abruptly discontinue OPANA Tablets in patients who may be physically dependent on opioids. Rapid discontinuation of opioid analgesics in patients who are physically dependent on opioids has resulted in serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may also attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.

When a decision has been made to decrease the dose or discontinue therapy in an opioid-dependent patient taking OPANA Tablets, there are a variety of factors that should be considered, including the dose of OPANA Tablets the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, the type of pain being treated, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. It is important to ensure ongoing care of the patient and to agree on an appropriate tapering schedule and follow-up plan so that patient and provider goals and expectations are clear and realistic. When opioid analgesics are being discontinued due to a suspected substance use disorder, evaluate and treat the patient, or refer for evaluation and treatment of the substance use disorder. Treatment should include evidence-based approaches, such as medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. Complex patients with comorbid pain and substance use disorders may benefit from referral to a specialist.

There are no standard opioid tapering schedules that are suitable for all patients. Good clinical practice dictates a patient-specific plan to taper the dose of the opioid gradually. For patients on OPANA Tablets who are physically opioid-dependent, initiate the taper by a small enough increment (e.g., no greater than 10% to 25% of the total daily dose) to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and proceed with dose-lowering at an interval of every 2 to 4 weeks. Patients who have been taking opioids for briefer periods of time may tolerate a more rapid taper.

It may be necessary to provide the patient with lower dosage strengths to accomplish a successful taper. Reassess the patient frequently to manage pain and withdrawal symptoms, should they emerge. Common withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and symptoms also may develop, including irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate. If withdrawal symptoms arise, it may be necessary to pause the taper for a period of time or raise the dose of the opioid analgesic to the previous dose, and then proceed with a slower taper. In addition, monitor patients for any changes in mood, emergence of suicidal thoughts, or use of other substances.

When managing patients taking opioid analgesics, particularly those who have been treated for a long duration and/or with high doses for chronic pain, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper. A multimodal approach to pain management may optimize the treatment of chronic pain, as well as assist with the successful tapering of the opioid analgesic [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].

Further information

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