Medically reviewed on December 12, 2017
What is oxymorphone?
Oxymorphone is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic.
Oxymorphone is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
The extended-release form of oxymorphone 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.
Oxymorphone can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take oxymorphone 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 ever had:
any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
liver or kidney problems; or
problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.
Some medicines can interact with oxymorphone and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
If you use oxymorphone while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
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 MEDICINE 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 tablet. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose. Never crush or break an oxymorphone pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This can cause in death.
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 this medicine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using oxymorphone.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of your medicine. Oxymorphone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.
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, slow heart rate, very slow breathing, or coma.
What should I avoid while using oxymorphone?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
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 signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Like other narcotic medicines, oxymorphone can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.
A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
weak or shallow breathing;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
chest pain, wheezing, cough with yellow or green mucus;
severe vomiting; or
low cortisol levels--nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are malnourished or debilitated.
Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.
Common side effects may include:
stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, 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: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect oxymorphone?
Narcotic (opioid) medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:
other narcotic medications--opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine;
drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing--a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, tranquilizer, antidepressant, or antipsychotic medicine.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with oxymorphone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01.
More about oxymorphone
- Oxymorphone Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 206 Reviews
- Drug class: narcotic analgesics
- Oxymorphone Extended-Release Tablets
- Oxymorphone Injection
- Oxymorphone Tablets
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- Oxymorphone Injection (Advanced Reading)