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Oxymorphone Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 21, 2024.

Applies to oxymorphone: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release.


Oral route (Tablet; Tablet, Extended Release)

Addiction, Abuse, and MisuseOxymorphone exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient's risk prior to prescribing oxymorphone, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a REMS for these products. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to complete a REMS-compliant education program, counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products, emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.Life-Threatening Respiratory DepressionSerious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of oxymorphone. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of oxymorphone or following a dose increase Instruct patients to swallow oxymorphone extended-release (ER) tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving oxymorphone ER tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxymorphone.Accidental IngestionAccidental ingestion of even one dose of oxymorphone, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of oxymorphone.Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal SyndromeProlonged use of oxymorphone during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available.Interaction with AlcoholInstruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products that contain alcohol while taking oxymorphone. The co-ingestion of alcohol with oxymorphone may result in increased plasma levels and a potentially fatal overdose of oxymorphone.Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS DepressantsConcomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing of oxymorphone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Serious side effects of Oxymorphone

Along with its needed effects, oxymorphone may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking oxymorphone:

Less common


Incidence not known

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking oxymorphone:

Symptoms of overdose

Other side effects of Oxymorphone

Some side effects of oxymorphone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common


Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to oxymorphone: injectable solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release, rectal suppository.


The most commonly reported adverse reactions included nausea, pyrexia, somnolence, vomiting, pruritus, headache, dizziness, constipation, and confusion. Additionally, the following adverse events were reported with the extended release tablet, diarrhea, insomnia, fatigue, decreased appetite and abdominal pain.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Constipation (up to 26%), nausea (up to 33%), vomiting (up to 16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth, abdominal distention, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia

Frequency not reported: Paralytic ileus, ileus

Postmarketing reports: Difficulty swallowing tablets[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypoxia, dyspnea

Frequency not reported: Respiratory depression, atelectasis, bronchospasm, decreased oxygen saturation, respiratory distress, respiratory rate decreased

laryngospasm, laryngeal edema, apnea[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Somnolence (up to 19%), dizziness (excluding vertigo; up to 18%)

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, confusion

Frequency not reported: Sedation, CNS depression

Postmarketing reports: Amnesia, convulsion, memory impairment[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity including dermatitis allergic, urticaria, pruritus, face swelling[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia, hypotension, edema, flushing, hypertension

Frequency not reported: Bradycardia, palpitations, orthostatic hypotension, syncope[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, insomnia, confusion, disorientation, restlessness, nervousness, depression

Frequency not reported: Mental impairment, dysphoria, euphoric mood, agitation, hallucination, drug dependence, drug abuse, feeling jittery[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Ureteral spasm, urinary hesitation, urinary retention, oliguria, difficult micturition[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pruritus (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased sweating

Frequency not reported: Dermatitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite, dehydration, decreased weight

Frequency not reported: Anorexia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Biliary colic[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pyrexia (14%)

Frequency not reported: Fatigue, asthenia, hot flashes, clamminess, weakness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Vision blurred

Frequency not reported: Miosis, diplopia, visual disturbances[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Injection site reaction[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. (2006) "Product Information. Opana (oxymorphone)." Endo Laboratories LLC

2. (2006) "Product Information. Opana ER (oxymorphone)." Endo Laboratories LLC

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.