It’s a prescription drug marketed under the brand name Opana and comes in immediate-release and extended-release formulations.
Oxymorphone works in the central nervous system (CNS) by binding to opioid receptors and altering how the brain responds to pain. When taken in high enough doses, it creates a “high,” or euphoric feeling.
Besides the analgesic effect (pain relief) it gives the one taking it, oxymorphone also creates a euphoric, happy feeling. The feeling is often compared to the high one gets from heroin.
While this high likely makes you feel good, it can lead to drug abuse and addiction when someone tries to chase that high and takes more and more oxymorphone to achieve it.
Injecting and snorting oxymorphone instead of taking it orally can make the high come on faster and more intensely but can also lead to taking too much and overdosing. This is especially the case with the extended-release tablets, Opana ER.
Side Effects Of Oxymorphone Abuse
Oxymorphone comes with a variety of side effects when taken as directed. These side effects can become even more pronounced when it’s abused:
- loss of appetite
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- difficulty sleeping
- chest pain
- fast heartbeat
- respiratory depression
Effects Of Oxymorphone Abuse
Oxymorphone abuse is such a concern that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the manufacturer of oxymorphone, Endo International, to remove it from the market.
Oxymorphone is classified as a schedule II controlled substance by the DEA. This means it has a high potential for abuse. Other schedule II drugs include fentanyl, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, methadone, and Oxycontin (oxycodone).
Oxymorphone first became popular as a replacement for Oxycontin because Oxycontin was reformulated to make it harder to crush and chew. When a drug is harder to crush and chew, it’s more difficult to abuse.
Abuse of oxymorphone can lead to addiction, withdrawal, and overdose.
Oxymorphone is very addictive because of the euphoric feeling it gives those taking it. It’s understandable why someone would want to feel that all the time, especially when dealing with chronic pain.
But once the body develops a physical dependence on oxymorphone, stopping can be easier said than done.
Oxymorphone has a half-life of 8 hours which means half the drug will exit the body within that time. This means withdrawal symptoms can begin appearing only hours after taking a dose.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- muscle pain
- enlarged pupils
- stomach cramps
- difficulty sleeping
- increased blood pressure
- fast breathing
Overdose is one of the biggest dangers when it comes to oxymorphone and other forms of opioid abuse.
When snorted or injected, the barriers set in place to ensure Orpana is safe to take are gone and the full potency of the drug goes straight to the brain. This can cause an overdose on its own. To treat an overdose, naloxone may be administered to reverse the opiate’s effects.
If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse or opioid addiction, help is available. To find the best treatment for you, please contact us today.
Drugs & Lactation Database - Oxymorphone
National Center for Biotechnology Information - Oxymorphone
National Institute on Drug Abuse: MedlinePlus - Oxymorphone
Therapeutics & Clinical Risk Management - Review of oral oxymorphone in the management of pain
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