Learn about the risks of oxymorphone hydrochloride, the withdrawal symptoms it can create and the ways to find treatment for opioid addiction.
Oxymorphone hydrochloride carries the risk of dependence and addiction, meaning withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone stops using the drug. Symptoms like nausea, muscle aches and intense drug cravings can begin 12 to 48 hours after taking the last dose.
Oral oxymorphone hydrochloride is three times more potent than oral morphine. It’s so potent that Opana ER, a brand name for oxymorphone hydrochloride, was removed from the U.S. market in June 2017 due to its high rate of addiction. The nation has been in an opioid epidemic for decades now, but this marked the first time in history that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed a drug that was already in circulation. Generic versions of extended-release oxymorphone hydrochloride are still available by prescription in the U.S., however.
What Are Common Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Withdrawal Symptoms?
Due to the highly addictive nature of oxymorphone hydrochloride, withdrawal symptoms can be severe. To help prevent severe side effects, the dosage should be gradually decreased over time rather than ended abruptly.
Withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Profuse sweating
- Teary eyes
- Pupil dilation
- Joint pain
Other symptoms may also develop, including:
- Runny nose
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Irregular heart rate
- Increased respiratory rate
Additionally, people who snort or inject the drug can experience other symptoms and risks alongside their withdrawal, like infections or nasal irritation, that may complicate their withdrawal experience.
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Withdrawal Timeline and Symptom Durations
Oxymorphone hydrochloride has a long half-life compared to other synthetic opioids. Its half-life is seven to nine hours, and withdrawal can begin 12 to 48 hours after the last dose. For most patients, withdrawal symptoms peak in intensity at around day two. Symptoms may continue for 10 to 20 days.
Early withdrawal symptoms are characterized by mild flu-like symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and drug cravings. After the first day, symptoms can evolve into more intense flu-like symptoms, severe drug cravings, nausea and chills.
Factors Impacting Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Withdrawal Severity
Several factors can influence the severity and duration of oxymorphone hydrochloride withdrawal symptoms. A person’s unique body chemistry and genetics can play a large role in the severity of their addiction and withdrawal.
Sometimes, people crush medication and snort or inject it to deliver the drug into their bloodstream more quickly. However, crushing up the drug bypasses the pill’s outer coating, which would otherwise regulate the drug’s release. When someone injects or snorts the drug, a large dose intended to be spread out over several hours is rushed into their bloodstream. Extended-release opioids contain higher quantities of the drug than immediate-release versions, so tampering with extended-release opioids increases the chance of an overdose and can worsen withdrawal symptoms.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms of Oxymorphone Hydrochloride
Due to the potent and addictive qualities of oxymorphone hydrochloride, supervised medical detox is strongly advised. Hospitals and addiction treatment facilities have several medications that help safely wean patients off the drug and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Medications and Detox
To treat opioid addiction, doctors commonly prescribe synthetic opioids that have less potential for euphoria and addiction. This approach reduces severe withdrawal symptoms by acting on the same opioid receptors as oxymorphone hydrochloride. Methadone and buprenorphine are two medications that are commonly used for this purpose. They’re long-lasting drugs that require few doses to achieve the desired effects.
Methadone use requires close medical supervision due to its potential for dependency. However, buprenorphine has a much lower misuse potential. Some versions of buprenorphine, such as Suboxone, also contain naloxone. When patients attempt to take too much of the drug, the naloxone is activated. Naloxone is a powerful opioid antagonist that negates the effects of any opioids in the patient’s system. This makes Suboxone especially useful for long-term opioid addiction recovery.
Other medications may also be used as treatments for managing specific symptoms of oxymorphone hydrochloride withdrawal. Antidepressants and anxiolytics can be administered to manage depression and anxiety. Anti-nausea medications can be prescribed for stomach issues, and others can be provided to treat restlessness and insomnia.
How To Choose an Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Detox Center
There are several treatment options available for people struggling with opioid abuse and addiction. While medical detox can help ensure a safer, more comfortable withdrawal process, many patients are advised to enter an inpatient rehabilitation program afterward.
Inpatient therapy provides a safe, supportive place to begin early recovery. Programs typically last 28 days, but the length of stay can vary widely from person to person. During treatment, patients live at the facility and participate in group and individual therapy throughout the day. Alternative inpatient programs exist as well, such as wilderness recovery programs.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an opioid addiction, The Recovery Village is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about treatment plans and programs that can work well for your needs.
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Addiction and Abuse
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National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction.” November 2016. Accessed September 12, 2020.
Smith, Robert. “What You Should Know About Opioid Equianalgesic Dosing.” Podiatry Today, September 2020. Accessed Sept 12, 2020.
Pharmacy Times. “Abuse Deterrent Opioid Formulations Purp[…]ality and Paradigms.” January 27, 2015. Accessed September 12, 2021.
Shah, Mansi; et al. “Opioid Withdrawal.” StatPearls, May 21, 2021. Accessed September 12, 2021.
World Health Organization. “Withdrawal Management.” 2009. Accessed September 12, 2021.
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