Opana (Oxymorphone) Addiction Signs, Symptoms, & Side Effects

Oxymorphone is a powerful opioid drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxymorphone was available under the trade name Opana ER until recently. The FDA requested manufacturers pull the drug because of the risks of addiction and the ongoing opioid epidemic. There are still generic versions of oxymorphone on the market in the U.S., however. Oxymorphone is a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., and it’s considered to have a high misuse potential. According to the DEA, there has been a recent increase in the number of cases of oxymorphone misuse. The DEA also warns of the potential for not only misuse but addiction and dependence because of the euphoric effects of drugs like oxymorphone. Oxymorphone is only available by prescription, and it can lead to respiratory depression and overdose in addition to misuse and addiction.
Prescription drug misuse is characterized as any situation where someone is using a drug like oxymorphone outside of how it’s prescribed. Symptoms of oxymorphone misuse can include stealing it from a friend or family member or buying it illegally to use it without a prescription. Oxymorphone misuse can also include taking higher doses than prescribed, taking it more often than prescribed or creating symptoms to get a prescription. Physical symptoms of oxymorphone misuse can include seeming euphoric or appearing to have a false sense of well-being as well as drowsiness or sedation. Other symptoms of oxymorphone misuse can include someone seeming lethargic, small pupils or a lack of interest in activities a person was previously interested in. Symptoms of oxymorphone misuse may also include a lack of coordination, out-of-the-ordinary sleep patterns, sweating and flushing of the face.
Two of the primary side effects of oxymorphone misuse to be aware of are addiction and dependence. Addiction is a disease of the brain that also affects physical health and the entire life of the affected person. Dependence is a scenario where someone’s physically dependent on the presence of oxymorphone, and if they stop using it suddenly, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Other side effects of oxymorphone misuse can include changes in pain tolerance, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue. Psychological problems can occur when someone is misusing oxymorphone such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. There can be an overall worsening of mental health when someone is misusing oxymorphone as well as increased symptoms of mental illnesses. Depending on how someone misuses oxymorphone, there can be additional side effects as well. For example, if someone is injecting oxymorphone, there can be cardiac infections and damage that occurs as well as infections in other parts of the body.
While oxymorphone misuse can contribute to the risk of an addiction developing, misuse and addiction aren’t the same. Addiction is a diagnosable disease with certain symptoms. Addiction can be classified as mild, moderate or severe based on the number of symptoms a person exhibits. Most people who are addicted to a drug like oxymorphone require professional treatment. Symptoms of oxymorphone addiction include:

  • Trying unsuccessfully to stop using oxymorphone
  • Continuing to use oxymorphone when there are negative side effects
  • Feeling like the use of oxymorphone is out of control
  • Oxymorphone is a top priority and area of focus
  • Financial problems
  • Social and relationship problems
  • Declining performance in other areas of responsibility such as school or work
  • Legal problems
  • Risk-taking while on oxymorphone or to obtain more
  • Secrecy or lying surrounding the use of oxymorphone
Someone who has been misusing oxymorphone for a long time is likely to experience even more serious side effects. Damage can occur to the liver, kidneys, brain and cardiac and respiratory systems when opioids are used in the long-term. There is an increased risk of an overdose occurring because of the development of tolerance to oxymorphone. Other potential oxymorphone long-term effects can include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Problems with the gastrointestinal system
  • Infections of the blood
  • Skin abscesses
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Fertility problems
  • Impotence
  • Problems with the hormonal system

Rather than allowing addiction to remain in control of your life, contact The Recovery Village and we can tell you more about our effective, evidence-based programs.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.

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