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Oxymorphone Addiction

Oxymorphone is a prescription medication that is used to provide long-lasting pain relief when used legally. However, misusing oxymorphone can lead to physical dependence, addiction, overdose, and even death. It’s important to know that using oxymorphone can be harmful and addictive. If you or someone you know is using oxymorphone and is worried about addiction, it’s important to get help.

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What Is Oxymorphone?

Oxymorphone is a prescription opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain when other medications have failed to help. Like other opioid analgesics, oxymorphone blocks pain messages in the central nervous system (CNS) by binding to the brain’s opioid receptors.

Oxymorphone has similar analgesic effects to morphine, and it was first marketed as an injectable or rectal suppository as early as 1959. It is currently marketed under the brand name Opana® or Opana® ER.

The DEA has classified oxymorphone as a Schedule II controlled substance since it’s considered to have a high potential for abuse, just like any other prescription opioid.

Besides oxymorphone, other prescription opioids include:

Trouble With Opana ER®

Unlike immediate-release oxymorphone tablets, extended-release tablets (oxymorphone hydrochloride) don’t provide all of the drug’s effects at once.

Pharmacology experts initially thought the extended-release feature would prevent abuse, but drug users found they could get high by snorting or injecting extended-release oxymorphone.

In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the oxymorphone extended-release medication known as Opana ER was not safe for consumers due to widespread abuse.

Opana ER’s production company, Endo Pharmaceuticals, pulled all extended-release Opana from their shelves.

Oxymorphone Abuse and Addiction

Oxymorphone abuse occurs when a user takes it without a prescription or outside of their prescription’s parameters. Abuse like taking higher doses of oxymorphone or using it without a prescription can quickly lead to physical dependence.

Once the body becomes dependent on oxymorphone, users may develop a mental craving that often leads to substance use disorder.

People who abuse oxymorphone take it orally, crush it and snort it, or mix it with water for intravenous injection. Snorting or injecting the drug brings on the impact faster, but these methods also increase the risk of an oxymorphone overdose.

Am I Addicted to Oxymorphone?

In large part, oxymorphone addiction symptoms resemble other opioid use disorders.

However, oxymorphone does not deliver the same euphoric effect as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco), or heroin.

Someone who is addicted to oxymorphone may display the following signs of addiction:

  • Cravings for oxymorphone
  • Not using their prescription as intended (or using the drug without a prescription)
  • Visiting multiple doctors to get more than one oxymorphone prescription
  • Obsession with acquiring or taking oxymorphone
  • Experiencing withdrawals when not taking oxymorphone
  • Using other opioids if they are unable to acquire oxymorphone
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Oxymorphone Use Side Effects

Oxymorphone is a painkiller that initiates chemical, neurological, and physiological changes in the body. Therefore, there are serious side effects that can occur as a result of oxymorphone misuse.

While abusing oxymorphone can initially cause cognitive impairment, it also can create the following short-term side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Itching or skin rash
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in vision
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Dry mouth (i.e., cottonmouth)
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

Additionally, long-term oxymorphone abuse can not only lead to dependence but can significantly increase your chances of addiction, overdose, and death.

Other long-term side effects of oxymorphone include:

  • Coordination problems
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Irritability, agitation
  • Low sex drive
  • Trouble urinating
  • Constipation (chronic)
  • Difficulty concentrating

Oxymorphone Overdose

Recognizing the symptoms of an oxymorphone overdose is the first step in helping someone who experiences this health emergency.

Signs of an oxymorphone overdose are the same as any opioid overdose and may include:

  • Respiratory depression (breathing problems)
  • Sedation
  • Clammy skin
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect someone is experiencing an oxymorphone overdose, call 911 immediately and report the overdose. Stay with the victim until help arrives. If possible, administer naloxone (Narcan) to help slow down the effects of the overdose.

Oxymorphone Addiction Treatment Options

Oxymorphone addiction has a significant impact on both the person with the opioid use disorder and everyone who depends on them.

Thankfully, there are multiple treatment options available for people who are experiencing addiction to oxymorphone.

Typical treatment for most opioid addictions, including oxymorphone addiction, will often involve one or more of the following programs.

Oxymorphone Detoxification

Usually, the first step in treatment for an oxymorphone addiction would be to enter a medical detox program. Detox provides addicted individuals with a safe way to quit their oxymorphone drug use.

During detox, the person’s body will eliminate any remaining oxymorphone from their system. As their bodies adjust to the lack of oxymorphone, some patients will experience opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Because opioid withdrawal symptoms are sometimes painful or dangerous, the oxymorphone detox process is designed to ensure your safety while your body eliminates any oxymorphone from your system.

Symptoms of oxymorphone withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble falling asleep

Additionally, some withdrawal symptoms can become life-threatening, such as extreme dehydration or developing respiratory distress. Therefore, it’s a good idea to detoxify at a licensed facility specializing in opioid detox.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Your healthcare provider may prescribe you special medication to assist you during detox and/or your addiction treatment process.

MAT prescriptions can offer relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms, help prevent relapse, and potentially allow the user to taper off their oxymorphone dose slowly.

For some individuals who have become used to taking a higher dose of oxymorphone, detox might include a tapering program where doctors prescribe a different kind of opioid medication to take according to a specific schedule.

MAT for oxycodone addiction may include:

  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol®)
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®)
  • Methadone

Oxymorphone Rehab Programs

There are several types of oxymorphone addiction rehab programs to choose from. Rehab options can range in intensity based on your individual addiction history.

However, almost all rehab programs emphasize mental health support through individual and group therapy as well as support groups. Many also have aftercare to assist with transitioning back to normal living.

Your healthcare provider or addiction specialist can help you select the type of rehab that would be ideal for you and your recovery.

  • Inpatient Rehab: When most people think about rehab, they most likely picture inpatient programs. Inpatient rehab provides 24/7 care and support at a residential facility where oxymorphone addiction patients remain for 30 to 90 days.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP): Oxymorphone addiction patients can visit a PHP each day to receive treatment and medical care that’s similar to what they would find at an inpatient facility. However, after each day, they can return home or attend to other responsibilities (like work, school, etc.).
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): IOP is often a good match for those with mild oxymorphone addiction. Individuals attend daily IOP treatment but can also attend school, work, or care for their families during the off hours.
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Oxymorphone Statistics

Oxymorphone is an opioid, so it is included in the statistics about prescription opioid use.

  • Approximately 1.27 million Americans receive medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, including oxymorphone addiction.
  • Opiates were involved in two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2018.
  • In 2021, over 80,000 opioid-related deaths were reported.

Get Help for You or Someone You Love

Substance abuse and addiction affects more than just the addict themselves. The friends and family members of the person struggling with drug abuse often experience trauma themselves, whether it’s from concern for their loved one to arguments and even feelings of betrayal.

What many people don’t realize is that there are a myriad of support groups designed specifically for those who have struggled with a loved one’s addiction.

From online forums to in-person meet-ups, you deserve the same care and support to help you cope with your loved one’s addiction during this troubling time.

Looking for treatment for yourself or a loved one? Call the SAMHSA hotline at 1-800-662-4357 (HELP) or use their online treatment locator. They provide free, confidential referral services and treatment information for drug addiction and mental health services to both addicts and their family members.

If you’re ready to overcome your oxymorphone addiction, learn your treatment and therapy options.

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Oxymorphone Addiction FAQs

What is the difference between oxymorphone and oxycodone?

Both oxymorphone and oxycodone are prescription opioids that are often prescribed to treat chronic or long-term pain. While both of these analgesics provide pain relief, oxymorphone differs because it is twice as potent as oxycodone.

Is oxymorphone the same drug as hydromorphone?

No, hydromorphone is a different type of prescription opioid than oxymorphone. Oxymorphone is more potent than hydromorphone, while hydromorphone is more potent than oxycodone.

What is the difference between oxymorphone and Opana?

Opana is the brand name for oxymorphone, a prescription drug used for long-term chronic pain relief. In other words, oxymorphone is the generic formulation of Opana.

How long does Opana (oxymorphone) last?

The length of time Opana stays in your system varies per individual and is based on several factors (including age, body mass, metabolism, etc.)

Opana’s half-life is roughly 10 hours, meaning that’s how long it takes for the active ingredient in Opana to get down to 50% in your body.

Is oxymorphone a narcotic?

Yes, as a prescription opioid, oxymorphone is classified as a Schedule II narcotic.

What are the side effects of the drug Opana?

Opana can cause the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constipation
  • Itching or skin rash
  • Dry mouth (i.e., cottonmouth)
  • Hallucinations

Opana (oxycodone) can also lead to dependence and addiction.

What are the long-term effects of oxymorphone?

Over time, oxymorphone use can lead to dependence and even addiction.

Can Oxymorphone overdose be treated?

If the victim has collapsed, call 911 for emergency services. There is also information available via the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Administer Naloxone (NARCAN) to potentially reverse the life-threatening effects of oxymorphone overdose.

While waiting for emergency responders to come, bystanders can roll a person onto their side to help them breathe and stay with the victim.

What is oxymorphone?

Oxymorphone (brand name: Opana) is an opioid analgesic designed to provide relief for chronic or severe pain. This painkiller is prescribed to provide a long-term pain solution around the clock and is not intended to be an as-needed pain reliever.


Department of Drug Enforcement. Drug scheduling. DEA. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2021, from

MedlinePlus. Oxymorphone. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2021, from

Mayo Clinic (n.d.). Oxymorphone (Oral Route). (n.d.) Retrieved November 17, 2021, from

Health Resources and Services Administration. Opioid Crises. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2021, from

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Oxymorphone (marketed as Opana ER) information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved December 22, 2021, from

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

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  2. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2018, February 6). Oxymorphone (Marketed as Opana ER) Information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  3. Commissioner, O. of the. (2017, June 8). FDA Requests Removal Of Opana ER For Risks Related To Abuse. U.S. Food And Drug Administration.
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  8. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2023, April 13). Oxymorphone: MedlinePlus Drug Information. MedlinePlus.

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