Opana (Oxymorphone) Proper Use Vs. Abuse | Dosing & Strengths

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on February 4, 2023

A standard dose of immediate-release Opana (oxymorphone) is between 5-20 mg every 4-6 hours. Given the pain medicine’s strong analgesic effects and potential for abuse and overdose, only use Opana as prescribed.

Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride) is a brand-name pain medication produced by Endo Pharmaceuticals and approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe pain, including chronic pain and back pain.

While the immediate-release formulation of this medication is still available (in addition to an injection ampule), a long-acting formulation known as Opana ER (extended-release) was discontinued in 2017 due to concerns over drug abuse.

Generic oxymorphone medications are also currently available.

Opana Dosage (Immediate-Release Tablets)

Opioid-naive patients beginning treatment with Opana for pain management typically take 5-20 mg every 4-6 hours. If this dose is not able to provide adequate analgesia (pain relief) it can be increased as needed through a process known as titration.

Adults who are switching to Opana from another opioid analgesic should take half of their former total daily dose, divided into equal doses every 4-6 hours. Healthcare providers may also titrate this dosage as needed.

It is not recommended that juveniles use Opana.

Opana Dosage (Extended-Release Tablets)

Opioid-naive adults beginning treatment with extended-release oxymorphone medications will typically take an initial dose of 5mg every 12 hours. Your healthcare provider can titrate this dosage as needed.

Those who are switching to this medication after taking another opioid medication will likely take half of their total daily dosage divided into two doses every twelve hours, with further adjustments as needed.

Please keep in mind that every patient’s situation is unique, and dosages will vary from individual to individual.

Opana Strengths

Opana and generic opioid medications made with oxymorphone come in the following strengths and formulations:

  • Opana 1 mg/mL ampules (injection)
  • Opana 5 mg IR (immediate-release)
  • Opana 10 mg IR
  • Opana 5 mg ER (extended-release)
  • Opana 7.5 mg ER
  • Opana 10 mg ER
  • Opana 15 mg ER
  • Opana 20 mg ER
  • Opana 30 mg ER
  • Opana 40 mg ER

It is recommended that you consume tablets whole on an empty stomach.

Opana Abuse

Opana abuse is considered to be any ingestion of this medication not in accordance with a person’s prescription.

This includes giving it away or selling it, taking it without a prescription, taking more of the medication than you have been prescribed or taking it more often, tampering with it, and taking it with other substances to increase the effects of oxymorphone on the body.

Opana Drug Class

Oxymorphone, as with other opioid/opiate drugs, has been classified by the FDA and DEA as a Schedule II controlled substance. This indicates that this valued drug for opioid therapy also carries an exceptionally high potential for diversion, abuse, physical dependence, and addiction.

Other prescription drugs of this type include:

  • oxycodone
  • hydromorphone
  • fentanyl
  • hydrocodone
  • methadone
  • codeine
  • and others

Side Effects Of Opana

Use of opioids is associated with a variety of common side effects, and Opana is no exception.

Common side-effects of Opana use may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • constipation
  • increased sweating
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness/somnolence

Allergic reactions and certain other serious side-effects or adverse events are possible and should be reported to your healthcare provider if they occur.

Opana Overdose

As a strong opioid agonist, oxymorphone binds to opioid receptors throughout the central nervous system, easing feelings of pain or stress and slowing mental and physical activity overall.

However, if Opana is taken in high doses or mixed with other CNS depressants (alcohol, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, sedatives, etc.) you may experience life-threatening opioid overdose symptoms that may include:

  • impaired or interrupted breathing (respiratory depression)
  • cold clammy skin
  • pinpoint pupils
  • low body temperature, breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate
  • confusion and disorientation
  • impaired coordination
  • unresponsiveness or coma

Opana overdose can be treated using the opioid antagonist drug naloxone (Narcan). If you suspect an overdose has occurred, administer naloxone, if available, and call 911 immediately. 

Other Precautions

Prolonged use of Opana may lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms during discontinuation. Let your doctor know what other concomitant drugs and supplements you use, as drug interactions could occur. 

You should also share any personal or family history of brain disorders or head injuries, breathing disorders (including sleep apnea), renal or hepatic impairment, mental or mood disorders, substance use disorder, digestive issues (including paralytic ileus), pancreatitis, or difficulty urinating.

Use of Opana may be contraindicated or this medication may be prescribed with more caution if you possess some of the above conditions.

In addition, because Opana can cause drowsiness, you should not use Opana with other recreational drugs or alcohol.

Older adults may be at increased risk of Opana’s side effects, and use of Opana during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been studied and is not recommended.

Oxymorphone Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one live with prescription opioid addiction and need help, Ohio Recovery Center can help.

At our inpatient rehab facility, we use a variety of tools to address opioid use disorder, including medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine or methadone, behavioral therapy, peer support, and other evidence-based services.

To learn more, please contact us today.

  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Opana (oxymorphone hydrochloride) Highlights of Prescribing Information https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/021611s016lbl.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride) Highlights of Prescribing Information https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/201655s004lbl.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Oxymorphone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a610022.html

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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