Opana is a brand name for oxymorphone, a synthetic opioid painkiller. First used in the United States in the 1950s, the drug comes in various applications including extended- and immediate-release versions. Oxymorphone is also sold in different formulations under the names Numorphan and Numorphone.
Oxymorphone variants like Opana are very powerful opioids, considered to be significantly more potent than morphine. For this reason, it has useful applications in pain management. Opana ER, the extended-release version of the medication, can be used in the treatment of chronic, around-the-clock pain.
Faster-acting versions of the drug are sometimes used to treat individuals experiencing breakthrough pain — severe pain that occurs while an individual is already under the effects of a painkiller with a long duration. The potency of the drug allows it to work when the patient is desensitized to the effects of milder opioids.
Oxymorphone is sometimes prescribed for its ability to improve the effects of surgical anaesthesia. It is also reported to help ease anxiety stemming from certain conditions.
Opana can present any of a number of side effects in those taking the medication. Among reported side effects are:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain or nausea
- Drowsiness or difficulty sleeping
More severe side effects that may require the intervention of a medical professional include:
- Chest pain
- Hives or rash
- Sexual dysfunction
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or slowed heartbeat
Opioids generally carry a high risk for dependence or abuse. For this reason, you should only take them as prescribed by a doctor. Opana and other forms of oxymorphone carry a higher risk due to their relative strength.
In 2010 a new formulation of OxyContin, a common opioid of abuse, was released. This new version of the medication was designed to help prevent misuse by those who would break, dissolve or otherwise tamper with the drug to overcome its time-release safeguards. As such, many turned to other opioids to be snorted or injected.
In particular, some individuals would turn to oxymorphone as an alternative. Quick-acting formulations like Opana IR offered immediate, strong and euphoric highs.
Oxymorphone overdose can carry serious health risks. Similar to other opioids, prescription drug abuse of medications like Opana can cause severe symptoms or even death. Symptoms of overdose include:
- Breathing that is difficult, slowed or stopped
- Cold, clammy skin
- Stupor or unconsciousness
- Muscle weakness
- Severe sleepiness
Withdrawal from Opana can come with symptoms similar to that of other opioids. The strength of oxymorphone means that withdrawal symptoms may present more severely than in other instances. Symptoms include:
- Muscle or joint pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes in heartbeat
- Anxiety or restlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Accelerated breathing
Withdrawal from strong narcotics is a serious process that carries real health risks. Be sure to find resources to help you navigate.
through the drug detox and recovery process safely and comfortably.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Opana dependence, you don’t have to go it alone. Our team of caring medical professionals will help you find a path to successful recovery. Contact us today to find a treatment that works for you.