Opana Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Opana Overview

Opana Addiction TreatmentOpana (oxymorphone hydrochloride) is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release form of this medication is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. It is a narcotic pain reliever. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, fever, constipation, increased sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness. The dose of Opana is determined by the patient's age, condition, medical status, type and severity of the pain, and other factors. Opana may interact with other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing, pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol, or buprenorphine. Other drugs may interact with Opana. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. During pregnancy, Opana should be used only when prescribed. Using it near the expected delivery date is not recommended because of possible harm to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who used this drug may have withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Opana Signs of Abuse

“Drug-seeking” behavior is very common to addicts and drug abusers. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing or referral, repeated claims of loss of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions, and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating physician(s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers) to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction. Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control. Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction and is characterized by misuse for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Opana, like other opioids, may be diverted for non-medical use. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests is strongly advised. Opana is intended for oral use only. Abuse of Opana poses a risk of overdose and death. This risk is increased with concurrent abuse of Opana with alcohol and other substances. Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.

Effects of Opana Abuse

Acute overdosage with Opana is characterized by respiratory depression (a decrease in respiratory rate and/or tidal volume, Cheyne-Stokes respiration, cyanosis), extreme somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, and sometimes bradycardia and hypotension. In some cases, apnea, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest, and death may occur. Opana may cause miosis, even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic (e.g., pontine lesions of hemorrhagic or ischemic origin may produce similar findings). Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen with hypoxia in overdose situations.

Opana Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid analgesics may cause physical dependence. Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation of a drug or upon administration of an opioid antagonist or mixed opioid agonist/antagonist agent. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity, e.g., naloxone, nalmefene, or mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (pentazocine, butorphanol, buprenorphine, nalbuphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage. Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). The development of physical dependence and/or tolerance is not unusual during chronic opioid therapy. Opana should not be abruptly discontinued. If Opana is abruptly discontinued in a physically-dependent patient, an abstinence syndrome may occur. Some or all of the following can characterize this syndrome: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other symptoms also may develop, including: irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate. Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal symptoms.

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