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Opana (oxymorphone) is a very potent semisynthetic opioid drug that is used for pain control. Opana is available in an immediate-release form (Opana IR) and an extended-release form (Opana ER). Dosages of oxymorphone in Opana IR are 5 mg and 10 mg, whereas dosages are 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 50 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, and 40 mg for the extended-release version. The analgesic effects of the immediate-release version last 3-4 hours, whereas the extended-release version provides pain relief for up to 12 hours. There is also an injectable form of Opana that is primarily used in hospitals and clinics.
The active narcotic ingredient in Opana, oxymorphone, is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that the drug is considered to have significant medicinal uses, but also has a high potential for abuse and for the development of physical dependence when the drug is used consistently over time.
The extended-release version is obviously used for the control of pain over longer periods of time and the reduced need to keep taking the medication throughout the day.
The medicinal uses for Opana include:
The most salient effects that are associated with using any opioid medication are the reduction of the subjective experiences of pain, stress, and anxiety. In addition, individuals often feel sedation and mild euphoria even when using the drug as recommended. Numerous side effects have been reported as a result of using Opana; however, in most cases, the side effects are rare.
Some of the more common reported side effects that can occur with medicinal use of Opana include:
According to the two-volume series Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, in addition to the above common side effects, there are some rare but potential serious side effects that can occur as a result of using Opana.
Rare side effects of Opana include:
Side effects that are associated with the medicinal use of Opana are most often relatively mild, and physicians are able to address these issues on a case-by-case basis. Side effect profiles that occur in individuals who abuse drugs are significantly more severe, significantly more frequent, and significantly more distressing than the side effects that occur in individuals who use the drug under the supervision of a physician and according to its prescribed instructions. In addition, individuals who abuse different combinations of drugs are at risk to develop side effects that may not be associated with the use of those specific drugs taken in isolation.
When individuals have developed both the symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal to any drug, they have developed physical dependence on the drug. Physical dependence to a drug is generally not considered to be a serious issue when the drug is being used for medicinal purposes and under the supervision of a physician; however, in individuals who abuse drugs, the symptoms of physical dependence can be considered to be signs that the individual has a substance use disorder (a serious abuse issue or addiction). In addition, the development of physical dependence on a drug in individuals who abuse the drug often results in the person compulsively using the drug to avoid potential withdrawal symptoms. The repetition of this practice results in exacerbation of their addictive behavior.