Opana (oxymorphone) is a Schedule II opioid with a risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. Even when used as directed, side effects include nausea, fever and fatigue.

Article at a Glance:

  • Oxymorphone is a narcotic that is sold under the brand name Opana.
  • A brand-name long-acting form of oxymorphone, Opana ER, was discontinued by the manufacturer. However, a generic form of long-acting oxymorphone is still available.
  • Oxymorphone is a Schedule II controlled substance.
  • Oxymorphone carries many of the same risks and side effects as other opioids, including the risks of abuse, addiction and dependence.

Opana (Oxymorphone) Side Effects

As a Schedule II controlled substance, three of the primary side effects of oxymorphone misuse are addiction, dependence and tolerance. Although similar, these terms refer to different risks of Opana.

  • Addiction is a disease of the brain that also affects physical health and the entire life of the affected person. When a person is addicted to a drug, they keep taking it despite negative consequences.
  • Dependence is a scenario where someone is physically dependent on the presence of oxymorphone, and if they stop using it suddenly, they experience withdrawal symptoms. A person can be dependent on Opana without being addicted.
  • Tolerance is when a person needs higher and higher doses of the drug to get the same results as before.

Other side effects of oxymorphone include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Pyrexia (fever)
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Opana “High” Feeling

Opana is frequently abused by people who want to get high. Opana is different from other opioids: although all opioids impact the mu-opioid receptor for pain relief, Opana can also impact other opioid receptors in the brain at higher doses.

Overdose Risk

Opana carries a serious overdose risk. This is especially true when mixed with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol. Opana’s overdose symptoms include:

  • Severely slowed breathing
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Flaccid muscles
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Small pupils
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate

If you believe someone is experiencing an overdose, give naloxone (Narcan) and dial 911. If you are unsure what the person has taken, you can also call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Related Topics: 
Opana (Oxymorphone) Overdose Risk 
Mixing Alcohol & Opana (Oxymorphone) 

Long-Term Effects of Opana ER (Oxymorphone) Abuse

Whether long or short-acting, chronic opioid use can cause serious side effects, such as:

  • Constipation
  • Breathing problems while sleeping
  • Bone fractures
  • Hormone problems
  • Overdose

Long-acting oxymorphone is currently available as a generic drug only. Until 2018, it was available in an abuse-deterrent form called Opana ER. However, the FDA pulled the drug because there were outbreaks of disease among people trying to inject it. These disease outbreaks included:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Hepatitis C
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy

Common Signs of Opana (Oxymorphone) Abuse

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 Opana from a friend or family member
  • Buying Opana illegally to use it without a prescription
  • Taking higher Opana doses than prescribed or taking it more often than prescribed
  • Faking symptoms to get an Opana prescription
  • Going to different doctors or pharmacies to seek Opana

Symptoms of oxymorphone addiction include:

  • Trying unsuccessfully to stop using oxymorphone
  • Continuing to use oxymorphone when there are negative side effects
  • Feeling like your oxymorphone use 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

Oxymorphone Addiction

Opioid addiction is a diagnosable disease that can be treated. 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. Our effective, evidence-based programs can get you off Opana for good. Contact The Recovery Village to get your questions answered and start on the path to recovery.

Related Topic: Opana Withdrawal and Detox

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Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. 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

Food and Drug Administration. “Oxymorphone (marketed as Opana ER) Information.” February 6, 2018. Accessed November 28, 2021.

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Oxymorphone.” March 2019. Accessed November 28, 2021.

Baldini, AnGee; Von Korff, Michael; Lin, Elizabeth H. B. “A Review of Potential Adverse Effects of[…]actitioner’s Guide.” The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 2012. Accessed November 28, 2021.

Food and Drug Administration. “FDA requests removal of Opana ER for risks related to abuse.” March 28, 2018. Accessed November 28, 2021.

Drugs.com. “Oxymorphone.” March 29, 2021. Accessed November 28, 2021.

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.