Opana vs. Oxycontin: Are they the Same?

Frequently people want to compare drugs that are similar to one another, particularly when they are classified as opioids. Opioids, regardless of small differences, are in many ways very much the same in most cases.

For example, all opioids bind to certain receptors in the central nervous system, and they reduce pain. In larger amounts, opioids have the potential to create a euphoric high, and many of the side effects are similar between drugs, such as nausea and dizziness. Opioids also have a high potential for abuse, which is why they are available only with a prescription. Of course, heroin is one opioid that’s entirely illegal but often used illicitly.

Usually, with opioids, there may be subtle differences. For example, OxyContin is a brand name of oxycodone, but it is an extended release version so that it can be used for around-the-clock treatment of pain.

The following are some key things to know about two prescription opioids: Opana vs. OxyContin.

Opana vs. Oxycontin: Are they the Same?
Opana is a brand name for the opioid oxymorphone. Oxymorphone is prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, and in some cases, it’s used prior to surgery to relieve anxiety and induce sedation.

This narcotic works on the central nervous system to reduce pain as with other opioids and some of the side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, sweating, and vomiting.

There was recently a big announcement made about Opana ER, which is an extended release version of the drug. Shipments of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended release, which is Opana ER, are ending according to an announcement from the pharmaceutical company Endo International.

This means patients who use Opana ER are going to have to move to a different drug, which makes the comparison of Opana vs. OxyContin even more relevant right now. There has been continuing controversy with the Opana ER drug, and the FDA asked the Endo company to stop selling it. The injectable form of the drug was linked to problems such as a 2015 outbreak of hepatitis C and HIV in Indiana.

Oxymorphone comes with several black box warnings which were in place before the company decided to stop selling it, and are common with many opioids. The drug was frequently abused because of the ability of people to crush, chew or dissolve the extended release tablets. This leads to a rapid release of the dose of the drug, and it increases the chance of overdose.

When comparing Opana vs. OxyContin, the two drugs actually are very similar, and it may be that as people are required to stop taking Opana since it’s no longer going to be made, doctors may move patients to OxyContin instead.

OxyContin like Opana is an extended-release drug. One difference is that Opana is hydromorphone while OxyContin is oxycodone, but it’s a relatively small difference.

While the similarities are there, particularly regarding the extended release element of the two drugs, when it comes to the strength and potency of Opana vs. OxyContin, Opana is generally much stronger than OxyContin. Another key difference between Opana vs. OxyContin is the fact that while they both are pain medicine, oxymorphone is used before surgery for anxiety and sedation. OxyContin is not used in that respect and is instead only used for pain ranging from moderate to severe.

With both Opana and OxyContin, there are similar risks including addiction and abuse, and also the risk of overdose. With both drugs, the risk of overdose is particularly high when people chew, crush or dissolve the tablets, or when they mix it with other substances, especially that also depress the central nervous system.

So, when comparing Opana vs. Oxycontin, are they the same? Not exactly, but they have many similarities. Key similarities include how they work on the central nervous system and the extended release element of both drugs. Differences in Opana vs. OxyContin include the fact that Opana is stronger, and is used before surgery while OxyContin isn’t.

Opana vs. Oxycontin: Are they the Same?
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