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Opana ER (Generic Oxymorphone)

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Opana ER (extended-release) is a prescription medication that contains oxymorphone, a potent opioid analgesic. While it can be effective in managing moderate to severe pain, it also carries certain risks. Here are some important risks associated with taking Opana ER:

  • Addiction and dependence: Opana ER belongs to the opioid class of drugs, which have a high potential for addiction and dependence. Prolonged use or misuse of Opana ER can lead to physical and psychological dependence, requiring careful monitoring and potential withdrawal management.
  • Respiratory depression: Opana ER, like other opioids, can cause respiratory depression, where breathing slows down significantly. This effect is particularly dangerous when high doses are taken, or when combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Severe respiratory depression can be life-threatening.
  • Overdose: Taking too much Opana ER can lead to an overdose, which can be fatal. Symptoms of an overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, slowed heart rate, shallow breathing, and even loss of consciousness. If an overdose is suspected, immediate medical attention is crucial.
  • Sedation and dizziness: Opana ER can cause sedation, drowsiness, and dizziness. These effects can impair cognitive and physical abilities, making it unsafe to drive or operate machinery.
  • Gastrointestinal effects: Opana ER can cause constipation, which is a common side effect of opioids. It can be severe and may require the use of laxatives or other measures to manage. Additionally, Opana ER may cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
  • Hormonal effects: Opioids like Opana ER can disrupt the normal production and release of hormones in the body. This can lead to complications such as low testosterone levels, reduced libido, menstrual irregularities, and fertility issues.
  • Interactions and contraindications: Opana ER can interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives, and tranquilizers, resulting in adverse effects or reduced efficacy. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions. Opana ER is also contraindicated in individuals with respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma, paralytic ileus, and hypersensitivity to opioids.

It’s crucial to remember that the above information provides only a brief overview of the risks associated with Opana ER. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks and benefits before using this medication.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Opana ER (oxymorphone extended-release) is prescribed for the management of moderate to severe pain in situations where alternative treatment options have not provided sufficient relief or are not tolerated. It belongs to the class of medications known as opioid analgesics and is used for chronic pain control.

Opana ER is an extended-release formulation, meaning it releases the medication slowly and steadily over an extended period, typically lasting around 12 hours. This allows for continuous pain relief and reduces the need for frequent dosing.

The decision to prescribe Opana ER is made by a healthcare provider based on a thorough assessment of the patient’s pain severity, medical history, and response to other pain management approaches. Opana ER may be prescribed for conditions such as:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Postoperative pain
  • Neuropathic pain (caused by nerve damage)
  • Pain associated with sickle cell disease

How should this medicine be used?

When using Opana ER, it’s important to follow the prescribed instructions provided by your healthcare professional. Here are some general guidelines for the use of Opana ER:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Opana ER is individualized based on factors such as the severity of pain, previous opioid experience, and medical condition. It is available in different strengths, and your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate dose for you.
  • Administration: Opana ER is an extended-release formulation designed to provide long-lasting pain relief. It should be taken orally, swallowed whole with water, and should not be crushed, chewed, or dissolved.
  • Frequency: Opana ER is typically taken every 12 hours, or as directed by your healthcare provider. It is important to follow the prescribed dosing schedule and not exceed the recommended dose.
  • Adjustments and titration: The initial dosage of Opana ER is usually based on the patient’s prior opioid experience. However, the dose may be adjusted over time to achieve optimal pain relief while minimizing side effects. Any adjustments should be made under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Individual response: Pain management is a highly individualized process, and the effectiveness of Opana ER may vary among individuals. Regular communication with your healthcare provider is essential to assess the medication’s efficacy and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Duration of use: Opana ER is intended for long-term pain management. However, the duration of treatment should be determined by your healthcare provider based on the specific circumstances of your pain condition.

It is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider for detailed instructions on the proper use of Opana ER, as they will consider your specific medical history and needs. Additionally, never alter the dosage or frequency of Opana ER without consulting your healthcare provider, as it can lead to serious health risks.

Other uses for this medicine

Opana ER, also known by its generic name oxymorphone extended-release, is a prescription medication primarily used to manage moderate to severe pain. However, it’s essential to note that you should consult with a healthcare professional for specific medical advice. That being said, there may be some off-label uses for Opana ER that are prescribed by doctors based on their clinical judgment and individual patient needs.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding precautions, Opana ER is a potent opioid medication and should be used with caution due to its potential for abuse, addiction, and overdose. Here are some general precautions associated with Opana ER:

  • Prescription requirement: Opana ER is a controlled substance and is available only with a valid prescription from a healthcare provider.
  • Individualized dosing: The dosage of Opana ER should be carefully determined by a healthcare professional based on the patient’s pain intensity, medical history, and response to the medication. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and not exceed it.
  • Risk of respiratory depression: Like other opioids, Opana ER can cause respiratory depression, which is a potentially serious side effect that can lead to breathing difficulties or even cessation of breathing. Individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may be at increased risk. Close monitoring is necessary, particularly when starting the medication or adjusting the dosage.
  • Potential for abuse and addiction: Opana ER carries a risk of abuse, addiction, and dependence. It should only be used by the person for whom it was prescribed. Misuse or sharing of Opana ER with others, particularly individuals with a history of substance abuse, can lead to severe health consequences or even fatalities.
  • Avoid alcohol and other central nervous system depressants: Combining Opana ER with alcohol or other medications that have sedative effects on the central nervous system can increase the risk of respiratory depression, sedation, and other adverse effects. It’s important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking.
  • Avoid abrupt discontinuation: Opana ER should not be stopped suddenly without medical guidance. A gradual tapering of the medication may be necessary to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Opana ER should be used with caution during pregnancy, as it can affect the developing fetus. It may also pass into breast milk, potentially causing harm to the nursing infant. Consult with a healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

These precautions are not exhaustive, and it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or refer to the medication’s prescribing information for a comprehensive understanding of the precautions, warnings, and potential side effects associated with Opana ER.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary instructions for Opana ER (oxymorphone extended-release). However, it’s generally recommended to follow a healthy and balanced diet while taking any medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Opana ER, it’s important to take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. It’s essential not to double the dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Opana ER (oxymorphone extended-release) can cause various side effects, and it’s important to note that not all individuals will experience these side effects. Some common side effects associated with Opana ER include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Itching or skin rash
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Decreased appetite

These are not all the possible side effects of Opana ER. Some individuals may experience more severe side effects, which should be promptly reported to a healthcare provider. These may include:

  • Severe allergic reactions (e.g., hives, itching, swelling, rash, difficulty breathing)
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Severe drowsiness or difficulty waking up
  • Severe constipation or bowel obstruction
  • Severe dizziness or fainting
  • Mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression)
  • Slowed or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Signs of adrenal insufficiency (e.g., fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain)
  • Signs of serotonin syndrome (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, fever, muscle stiffness)

It’s important to contact a healthcare professional if you experience any concerning or persistent side effects while taking Opana ER. They can provide guidance, assess your symptoms, and determine the appropriate course of action.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the list above may not be exhaustive, and there may be other side effects associated with Opana ER. It’s crucial to review the medication’s prescribing information or consult a healthcare provider for a comprehensive understanding of potential side effects.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

  • Storage: Opana ER should be stored at room temperature, away from excessive heat and moisture. Follow the specific storage instructions provided on the medication packaging or consult your pharmacist for any additional recommendations.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets: Opana ER should be stored in a secure location to prevent accidental ingestion by children or pets. It is a potent medication and can cause harm if taken improperly.
  • Disposal: Proper disposal of unused or expired Opana ER is important to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse. Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your healthcare provider or local regulations. Do not dispose of medications by flushing them down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Call emergency services: If you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency or an overdose situation, call emergency services immediately (e.g., 911 in the United States) for prompt assistance.
  • Provide necessary information: When contacting emergency services, provide them with all relevant information, including the name of the medication (Opana ER), the dosage strength, and the amount taken (if known). This information will help healthcare professionals provide appropriate care.
  • Do not delay seeking help: In the case of an overdose or emergency, prompt medical attention is crucial. It’s important not to delay seeking help while waiting for the effects of the overdose to manifest or hoping they will subside on their own.

What other information should I know?

  • Interactions: Opana ER can interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, sedatives, and benzodiazepines. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.
  • Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal: Prolonged use of Opana ER can lead to tolerance (reduced effectiveness) and physical dependence. Abruptly stopping the medication may result in withdrawal symptoms. Consult with your healthcare provider for guidance on safely discontinuing the medication, if necessary.
  • Regular check-ups: While taking Opana ER, it’s important to have regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider. This allows them to monitor your response to the medication, assess its continued appropriateness, and address any concerns or side effects.

Remember, this information is not exhaustive, and it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider or refer to the medication’s prescribing information for a comprehensive understanding of storage, disposal, emergency procedures, and other important details specific to Opana ER.

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