Depending on which test is being performed, oxymorphone can be detected in your system for as little as a few hours or as long as several months.

Article at a Glance:

  • Oxymorphone is a Schedule II opioid that can be detected in drug tests.
  • It can often be found for up to three days in urine, up to two days in saliva, up to 90 days in hair and up to 9.5 hours in blood.
  • Individual characteristics like age and kidney function can also impact how long the drug stays in your body.

Oxymorphone Showing Up on Drug Tests

If you take oxymorphone, you may wonder whether the drug will show up on a drug panel. Like other opioids, oxymorphone is highly likely to show up on standard drug tests. However, the amount of time the drug can be detected varies depending on what is being tested.

How Long Does Oxymorphone Stay in Your Urine, Hair, Saliva and Blood?

Oxymorphone can be detected in your system for varying amounts of time, depending on whether your urine, hair, saliva or blood is being tested:

  • Urine: Oxymorphone and its breakdown product, noroxymorphone, can be detected in urine for one to three days after the last dose.
  • Hair: A half-inch sample of hair can indicate whether oxymorphone was used in the past 90 days.
  • Saliva: Oxymorphone can be found in saliva for up to two days after the last dose
  • Blood: Oxymorphone can be found in plasma collected from blood for up to 9.5 hours after the last dose.

Half-Life of Oxymorphone

The half-life of oxymorphone depends on whether you are taking the short- or long-acting version of the drug:

It usually takes five half-lives for a full dose of a drug to be eliminated from a person’s system. This means it could take up to 45 hours for someone to fully excrete a single dose of short-acting oxymorphone, and up to 55 hours for the long-acting version.

Oxymorphone carries the risk of overdose and can have potentially deadly interactions with other central nervous system depressants. For these reasons, it is important to know the half-life of this drug and how long it would take to leave your system.

Factors That Influence How Long Oxymorphone Stays in Your System

Individual factors can influence how long oxymorphone stays in a person’s system. These factors may include:

  • Kidney function: A person with kidney problems may take longer to clear oxymorphone from their system than a person with healthy kidneys.
  • Liver function: Because the liver is involved in eliminating oxymorphone from your body, a person with liver problems may eliminate the drug more slowly.
  • History of use: Oxymorphone and other opioids can accumulate in your system with chronic use. If you have used oxymorphone for a long time, it may take longer for the drug to be fully cleared from your body.
  • Age: In older adults, oxymorphone tends to reach higher concentrations in the bloodstream. Because of this, it may take longer for their system to get rid of the drug.

How Oxymorphone Affects The Brain And Body

As an opioid drug, oxymorphone binds to mu opioid receptors found throughout the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. When oxymorphone activates these receptors, it affects how pain signals are sent from the body to the brain. This changes a person’s perception of the pain they are experiencing.

Opioid receptor activation also causes a depressant effect on the central nervous system. This can cause symptoms like slowed breathing and heart rate, drowsiness and dizziness. These effects make an oxymorphone overdose possible, especially when the drug is taken with other central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines.

Like other opioids, oxymorphone also targets the brain’s reward system. When a drug like oxymorphone releases high levels of dopamine into the brain and body, addiction can develop.

Oxymorphone Prescription Facts

Oxymorphone is a strong, generic prescription opioid. It is a semisynthetic opioid, meaning that it is created in a lab but derived from naturally occurring opioids.  Oxymorphone is closely related to the prescription opioid hydromorphone (Dilaudid).

Brand nameOpana
Type of pain it can treatModerate to severe pain
Short-acting or long-actingComes in both short-acting and long-acting dosage forms
Drug typeOpioid
Drug scheduleSchedule II
Side effectsNausea/vomiting, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, itching
How long it takes to start workingThe short-acting version of the drug starts working within 30 minutes. The long-acting version of the drug has a steady drug release for its entire duration of effect.
How long it takes to have its peak effectThe short-acting version of the drug has its peak effect within one hour. The long-acting version of the drug does not have a peak effect and instead has a steady drug release for its entire duration of effect.
Duration of effectThe short-acting version of the drug lasts between four and six hours, while the long-acting version lasts 12 hours

Oxymorphone Regulations

Oxymorphone is a Schedule II controlled substance. These substances are viewed as having legitimate medical uses and applications in the U.S. However, Schedule II substances are also classified as having a high potential for addiction, abuse and dependence.

Doctors are only allowed to write prescriptions for a 90-day supply of Schedule II controlled substances at a time, with no refills. In some states, doctors must follow even stricter requirements when writing these prescriptions.

Most Commonly Abused Drugs Containing Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone is available in two different dosage forms:

  • Short-acting oxymorphone: Available both as a generic drug and under the brand name Opana
  • Long-acting oxymorphone: Available as a generic drug only

A long-acting version of oxymorphone sold under the brand name Opana ER used to be available, but it is now discontinued. In addition, an injectable form of oxymorphone sold under the Opana brand name was once available but later discontinued. Oxymorphone is not currently sold in combination with any other drugs.

If you or someone you love is struggling to stop using opioids like oxymorphone, The Recovery Village is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about opioid addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.