Oxymorphone (By mouth)


Oxymorphone (ox-i-MOR-fone)

Treats moderate to severe pain. This medicine is a narcotic pain reliever.

Brand Name(s)

Opana ER, Opana

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to oxymorphone, morphine, codeine, or other narcotic pain medicines. Do not use this medicine during an asthma attack, or if you have severe asthma, trouble breathing, hypercarbia or hypercapnia (too much carbon dioxide in your blood), or liver disease. Do not use the extended-release tablet if you have paralytic ileus (blockage of the intestine).

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Tell your doctor if your medicine is not helping your pain.
  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole, 1 tablet at a time, immediately after you place it in your mouth. Drink enough water to be able to swallow it completely. Do not break, cut, crush, dissolve, lick, or chew it. This could release a life-threatening amount of oxymorphone into your body.
  • While taking the extended-release form of this medicine, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Flush all leftover oxymorphone medicine down the toilet after you have finished your treatment. Also flush old oxymorphone after the expiration date has passed. This medicine is one of only a few medicines that should be disposed of this way.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other narcotic pain relievers (such as buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, Buprenex®, Nubain®, Stadol®, or Talwin®), a phenothiazine medicine (such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Thorazine®, or Trilafon®), or a stomach medicine (such as cimetidine, Tagamet®). Tell your doctor if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® within the past 14 days.
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using other medicines that can cause dry mouth or constipation (such as atropine, dicyclomine, glycopyrrolate, scopolamine, Bentyl®, Robinul®, or Transderm Scop®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, low blood pressure, Addison disease, enlarged prostate, or problems passing urine. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with your stomach or digestive system, including gallbladder disease or pancreas problems. Tell your doctor if you have low blood volume, severe scoliosis (an abnormal spine curve), a head injury, or seizures. Also make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of drug or alcohol problems or mental or emotional problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you have breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cor pulmonale, sleep apnea, hypoxia (low oxygen in your blood), or hypercapnia. This medicine may make it hard to breathe.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. You may also feel lightheaded when standing suddenly from a sitting or lying position, so get up slowly.
  • Do not use this medicine for pain before and after surgery unless your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine may cause constipation. This is more common if you use it for a long time. Ask your doctor if you should also use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
  • It is against the law and dangerous for anyone else to use your medicine. Keep your unused medicine in a safe and secure place so no one can steal it.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Extreme weakness, shallow breathing, sweating, or cold or clammy skin
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Severe constipation or stomach pain
  • Severe sleepiness, trouble waking up, confusion
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Itchiness
  • Mild constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Sleepiness or trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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