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Side Effects of Oxymorphone (Opana, Numorphan)


Side Effects of Oxymorphone (Opana, Numorphan)

Oxymorphone, available as the brand Opana, is an opioid (narcotic) pain medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. There are safety considerations to consider while taking Opana. It can slow or stop your breathing and the effect can even occur at recommended doses.

Risk of Addiction to Oxymorphone

Opana is a controlled substance that has the risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction. Even when Opana is taken in recommended doses, Opana usage can result in addiction and abuse leading to overdose or death.


Sources report because of its dependence potential, Opana will be pulled off the market in late 2017.

Before Taking Opana

The FDA recommends to not use Opana if you have an allergy to Opana or any other codeine related medicines, have severe asthma or breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines or moderate to severe liver disease.


Opana should not be used if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant as it may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in your newborn baby. It also excretes into the breast milk and may harm your baby if you are breastfeeding.

Common Side Effects

Common Opana side effects are:


  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tired feeling
  • Increased sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild rash or itching

(Opana label reported by the FDA).

Drug Interactions

When alcohol is combined with Opana, dangerous adverse effects and death can occur.


The FDA advises to inform your doctor to combine Opana with the following medications:

  • Phenothiazines (chlorpromazine) because of an increased risk of low blood pressure
  • Cimetidine or sodium oxybate (GHB) because their interaction can cause severe drowsiness, slow or difficult breathing, coma, or confusion
  • Anticholinergics (scopolamine, benztropine) because of a risk of severe constipation or trouble urinating
  • MAOIs like phenelzine because the risk of a severe reaction including fever, seizures, and coma or mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine)
  • Naltrexone because it may decrease the effectiveness of Opana and withdrawal symptoms may occur


Opana can make you sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery.

About Pharmacogenetics Testing

Opana is a byproduct of another opioid medication, oxymorphone, and is more active than oxymorphone. Because it is not metabolized by CYP2D6, Opana can be used as an alternative in individuals with low CYP2D6 activity (Clinical Chemistry “Updated Guidelines for CYP2D6 and Codeine” (January 2015).

Know You Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test

The Rxight® test is based on the sequencing of 18 genes to determine how individuals respond to over 200 clinically relevant prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. With the gene analysis from Rxight®, a pharmacist will be to understand how your body processes medications. As a result, your pharmacist will be able to create the most effective and safe treatment plan for you.


Have more questions about Rxight® pharmacogenetic testing? Contact us at 1-888-888-1932 or at support@Rxight.com.


Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

Read more about Rxight® Individualized Medicine