What is Oxymorphone?
Oxymorphone is an opioid analgesic used in the management of moderate-to-severe pain and for analgesic therapies.
Oxymorphone, sold under the brand names Numorphan and Opana among others, is a highly potent opioid analgesic indicated for the treatment of severe pain. Pain relief after injection begins after about 5–10 minutes, after oral administration, it begins after about 30 minutes and lasts about 3–4 hours for immediate-release tablets and 12 hours for extended-release tablets. The elimination half-life of oxymorphone is much faster intravenously, and as such, the drug is most commonly used orally. Like oxycodone, which metabolizes to oxymorphone, oxymorphone has a high potential to be abused.
It was developed in Germany in 1914. It was patented in 1955 and approved for medical use in 1959. In June 2017 the FDA asked Endo Pharmaceuticals to remove its product from the US market. This was in part due to the opioid epidemic in the US, and the fact that a 2012 reformulation failed to stop illicit injection of the drug. Endo responded by voluntarily removing Opana ER from the market a month later. Generic versions of extended-release oxymorphone, such as those manufactured by Amneal Pharmaceuticals, are still available in the US.
Oxymorphone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should give naloxone and/or seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue-colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- weak or shallow breathing, breathing that stops;
- a light-headed feeling, like you, might pass out;
- seizure (convulsions);
- chest pain, wheezing, cough with yellow or green mucus;
- severe vomiting;
- high levels of serotonin in the body–agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
- low cortisol levels–nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.
Common side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- headache, tiredness; or
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation.