Why is this drug recommended?
Opana ER is an opioid painkiller that inhibits pain signals by acting on the nerve system and brain. Because it is an FDA-approved medication, health authorities have control over the drug’s production, distribution, and Opana ER tablet sales.
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How is this medication to be taken?
As a tablet and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, oxymorphone is available for oral administration on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after meals. Typically, it is taken every 4 to 6 hours. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Take oxymorphone as prescribed by your doctor. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Do not chew or crush the extended-release pills; instead, swallow them whole.
In order to get your pain under control, your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of oxymorphone and gradually increase it. If your pain is not under control while you are receiving therapy, your doctor may change your dose at any time. Call your doctor if you believe that your pain is not being managed. Without first consulting your doctor, never alter the dosage of your prescription.
Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking oxymorphone. Your dose will likely be gradually reduced by your doctor. You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop taking oxymorphone, including agitation, anxiety, weakness, stomach cramps, difficulty falling or staying asleep, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, restlessness, watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, sweating, chills, muscle, joint, or back pain, enlarged pupils (black circles in the centers of the eyes), irritability, and fast heartbeat and breathing.
What specific safety measures should I take?
Prior to consuming oxymorphone,
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you have any allergies to oxymorphone, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicet, and other medications), codeine (found in many painkillers and cough medicines), hydrocodone (Zohydro, Anexsia, Norco, Reprexain, Rezira, Vicoprofen, Vituz, and other medications), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), dihydro For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Mention the drugs in the IMPORTANT WARNING section as well as any of the following: drugs for irritable bowel syndrome, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, or urinary issues; nalbuphine; and pentazocine. Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Butrans, Zubsolv, in Suboxone). Butorphanol (Stadol). Cimetidine (Tagamet). Diuretics (‘water pills’). Ipratropium (Atrovent, in Combivent). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you have liver illness, a blockage in your stomach or intestine, paralytic ileus, or any of the other disorders listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section. Your doctor could advise against taking oxymorphone.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever seizures; problems urinating, or kidney, pancreas, thyroid, or gallbladder disease.
- Describe to your doctor if you are nursing a baby. If you are using oxymorphone while breastfeeding, keep a watchful eye on your infant for any unusual tiredness, slower breathing, or limpness.
- You should be aware that this medicine may lower both male and female fertility. The dangers of oxymorphone use should be discussed with your doctor.
- You should be aware that oxymorphone may cause you to feel sleepy, lightheaded, or dizzy. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
- You should be aware that an oxymorphone can make you feel faint, woozy, and lightheaded if you stand up too rapidly from a reclining position. Get out of bed gradually, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up, to avoid this issue.
What negative effects might this medicine have?
Oxymorphone could have negative effects.
- dry mouth
- stomach pain or swelling
- excessive sweating
- fast heartbeat
- red eyes
- feeling anxious or confused
Some side effects can be serious
- agitation, hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing things that are not there), disorientation, fever, sweating, shivering, extremely stiff or twitching muscles, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, or dizziness
- inability to get or keep an erection
- irregular menstruation
- decreased sexual desire
- changes in heartbeat
- rash, hives, itching, nausea, vomiting, hoarseness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, chest pain. or swelling of the hands, eyes, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat
- extreme drowsiness
Other negative effects of oxymorphone are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
Give naloxone, if available, to someone who has overdosed and is exhibiting dangerous symptoms like passing out or difficulty breathing, then dial 911. Call a poison control center as soon as possible if the person is awake and shows no symptoms. Call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control center if you’re a US citizen. Residents of Canada can dial a regional poison control center. The following signs of an overdose may occur: shallow or sluggish breathing, slow heartbeat, and unconsciousness.
The following are examples of overdose symptoms:
- difficulty breathing or slow or shallow breathing
- bluish-tinged skin, lips, or fingernails
- cold, clammy skin
- increase or decrease in pupil (dark circle in the eye) size
- limp or weak muscles
- extreme sleepiness
- unusual snoring
- slowed heartbeat
- unable to respond or wake up
With only a few number of LA opioids readily available to doctors in the U.S., Oxymorphone ER is a significant addition, giving patients in need of pain management or opioid rotation a much-needed option. Its use for chronic non-cancer pain, chronic low back pain, and cancer pain is backed by excellent clinical data. This medication offers 12-hour analgesia and maintains its effects over time in patients who are both opioid-naive and opioid-experienced.