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  • Oxymorphone hydrochloride, sold under the brand names Opana (immediate-release) and Opana ER (extended-release), is a powerful semi-synthetic opioid narcotic used to relieve moderate to severe pain.

    Once ingested, a dose of this pain medication provides pain relief for around twelve hours as the body works to metabolize the drug and filter it from the body.

    Oxymorphone Half-Life

    A drug’s half-life is the time it takes the body to remove one-half of one dose. It usually takes between four and six half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated from the body.

    Immediate-release oxymorphone has a half-life of around 7 to 9 hours, while extended-release tablets have a half-life of between 9 to 11 hours.

    Given the half-life of oxymorphone, this means that a single dose of the drug is eliminated from the body in about two days, with 90% of the drug’s metabolites eliminated within five days. 

    Note that elimination times and detection periods will likely vary from person to person. 

    Oxymorphone Drug Test Detection Times

    Drug screenings can detect the presence of oxymorphone, its metabolites, and other opioids or opiates in the body, though the exact time frame in which the drug can be detected varies depending on the specific test used.

    Note that oxymorphone is a metabolite of oxycodone (Oxycontin). This means that if you take oxycodone a portion of the drug will be converted into oxymorphone in the body, which may then also be detected in a drug test.

    Urine Tests

    Urine tests are the most common drug test and are able to detect oxymorphone use after a few hours, and for up to four days after the last dose.

    Saliva Tests

    Oral swab tests can detect the use of oxymorphone for between one to four days after last use.

    Hair Tests

    Hair follicles can also be tested for drugs and can reveal the use of many substances for the longest length of time after drug use, up to 90 days in many cases. 

    However, hair follicle tests are rare and are not generally used to check for the use of oxymorphone.

    Blood Tests

    An invasive form of testing that can detect drug use for the shortest amount of time, blood samples can reveal the presence of oxymorphone for only up to one day after last use.

    What Factors Impact Oxymorphone Elimination?

    A number of different physical and genetic factors can influence how quickly oxymorphone is eliminated in the body and how long drug testing can detect the presence of the drug. 

    Factors to consider include:

    Body Mass Index (BMI)

    Individuals with a higher body fat percentage may have longer detection windows as body fat can hold on to traces of the drug for longer than the other tissues of the body.


    Young people have faster metabolisms and are able to break down drugs more quickly than older people. 

    Liver & Kidney Function

    The liver and kidneys are responsible for processing oxymorphone and all other opioids ranging from codeine to fentanyl. 

    If liver or kidney function is damaged, as can occur following periods of alcohol or drug abuse, the body will likely take much longer to clear the drug from your system.

    Method Of Ingestion

    The faster a drug is absorbed into the body, the more quickly it will be processed and eliminated. 

    If the drug is ingested orally, the extra time involved in breaking down the drug in the stomach and absorbing it through the digestive tract will likely lengthen detection time. 

    If oxymorphone tablets are modified for injection or snorting the detection window could be smaller, although the risk of dangerous overdose is markedly increased.

    Can You Clear Oxymorphone From Your System Faster?

    There are a number of strategies individuals use to try to clear drugs from their systems more quickly, from drinking huge quantities of water to taking specific detox or herbal products. 

    But these methods have not stood up to scientific testing and, ultimately, the only way to get a drug out of your body is let your body do the hard work of metabolizing the substance and expelling it.

    Oxymorphone Detox & Side Effects

    Medical detox programs can help you safely manage withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking oxymorphone or begin reducing your dosage. 

    This process often benefits from medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using the FDA-approved medications methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.

    The withdrawal/detox process typically takes around one week, with withdrawal symptoms starting after 10-14 hours and peaking in severity after around 24-48 hours. Flu-like symptoms and drug cravings may persist for some time, however.

    Side-effects of oxymorphone withdrawal may include:

    • aches and pains
    • changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing
    • chills
    • insomnia
    • irritability
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea and vomiting
    • pupil dilation
    • restlessness
    • runny nose
    • sweating
    • tears
    • yawning

    To learn more about the prescription opioid recovery process, personalized treatment options, and availability, please contact Ark Behavioral Health today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Oxymorphone (marketed as Opana ER) Information
    National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) - Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Oxymorphone
    Pain Medicine - Clinical Pharmacology of Oxymorphone

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 18, 2022
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