Overview – What are the signs of abuse, effects, and withdrawal symptoms for Opana?
SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS:
- Dry Mouth
- Increased Heart Rate
- Facial or throat swelling
- Excessive Perspiration
- Intense Cravings
- Early symptoms Day 1-2
- Later symptoms Day 3-5
- Day 6-10 symptoms subside
- Day 11 and beyond: psychological symptoms, may continue for weeks or months
Opana is a brand name of oxymorphone, an opiate analgesic used to treat severe pain in individuals who require around-the-clock pain relief for an extended period of time. This medication works by changing how the brain and central nervous system respond to pain signals. Opana is dispensed in tablet form. Both regular and extended-release tablets are available.
Many people use oxymorphone to treat pain and do not become dependent on or addicted to the drug. However, oxymorphone can be addictive, and some people abuse this medication. Taking Opana in any way other than how it is prescribed significantly increases the risk of developing physical dependence on and addiction to the medication. Some people use oxymorphone as directed and still become physically dependent, but do not become addicted. Dependence occurs when the body becomes reliant on a drug in order to function normally. If an individual is physically dependent on oxymorphone, they will experience withdrawal symptoms whenever lessening or stopping its use. Addiction occurs when an individual compulsively seeks out and uses a substance, regardless of negative consequences. Physical dependence is a common part of addiction, but not everyone who is dependent on oxymorphone becomes addicted to the drug.
Effects of Opana Abuse
Using Opana can lead to unintended side effects. Most side effects are not serious and subside on their own, but some can be dangerous. The severity of side effects typically increases with increased use of the drug. More serious side effects are more likely if the drug is misused in any way.
The National Library of Medicine lists the following common side effects of oxymorphone:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
More serious side effects may include:
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
- Rash or hives
- Facial or throat swelling
- Lightheadedness when changing positions
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Difficulty staying awake
One of the most serious dangers of abusing oxymorphone is the risk of overdose. Overdose occurs when too much of a substance is taken, and the body cannot process it. Taking more Opana than prescribed can lead to overdose, which can cause organ damage, and even death. Because Opana builds up in the body over time, taking a new dose of the drug too soon after another can also cause an overdose.
Symptoms of overdose include:
- Slowed breathing, or total cessation of breathing
- A bluish tint to the skin, lips, or fingernails
- Cold, damp skin
- Change in pupil size
- Muscle weakness
- Extreme tiredness
- Loss of consciousness
An overdose on oxymorphone requires immediate medical attention. Since Opana is an opiate, naloxone can reverse overdose on the drug if it is given promptly, but the overdose reversal is only temporary. Since naloxone is processed out of the body faster than Opana is, the person may temporarily be all right but once the naloxone processes out of the body, overdose may return. As a result, emergency medical help is always required to ensure the person’s safety following overdose.
Timeline for Withdrawal
During detox, all substances of abuse are processed out of the body. People who need to detox from oxymorphone are physically dependent on the drug, so they will experience withdrawal symptoms as the drug leaves the body.
Since Opana, or oxymorphone, is an opiate drug, withdrawal can be very unpleasant and difficult, but it is not usually dangerous or life-threatening. The timeline for Opana withdrawal varies somewhat according to individual factors, such as a person’s physical body, history with drug abuse, presence of other substances, and the dosage and duration of Opana abuse. In general, however, withdrawal follows this timeline:
- Day 1-2: Withdrawal symptoms begin to appear. Early opiate withdrawalsymptoms include anxiety, nervousness, muscle weakness and pain, runny eyes and nose, trouble sleeping, and excessive sweating.
- Days 3-5: Later symptoms of withdrawal begin to appear, including diarrhea, enlarged pupils, chills, nausea, vomiting, and intense cravings for the drug.
- Days 6-10: Withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, and appetite may begin to return.
- Day 11 and beyond: Some psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or cravings, may continue for weeks or months following detox. Sometimes, these systems are managed with medications; however, therapy is essential to ensure sustained recovery.
Since cravings for Opana are a hallmark of the withdrawal process, medical detox is often essential. With 24-hour care and supervision, clients don’t have access to substances of abuse, and this eliminates the potential for relapse during detox. In addition, the therapy and social support available in professional programs ensures clients make it through the withdrawal process safely and comfortably and continue into comprehensive addiction treatment.
Medication Use in Opiate Detox
One of the main methods of treating opiate withdrawal is pharmacotherapy, or the use of medication. The most effective detox and recovery programs typically use a combination of medications and behavioral interventions. The most commonly used medications for opiate detox are naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine.
Medications used in oxymorphone detox can work in one of two ways: by mimicking the effects of the drug to lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings, or by blocking the effects of the drug to discourage relapse and to reverse overdose. Methadone and buprenorphine are both opioid agonists, meaning they mimic some of the effects of oxymorphone and other opiates. By affecting the brain in similar ways to oxymorphone, methadone and buprenorphine can prevent or lessen symptoms of withdrawal, as well as reduce cravings. This can help people refrain from relapsing, as well as make the withdrawal process less difficult.
Buprenorphine is sometimes combined with naloxone, which helps discourage abuse of this medication. When naloxone is added to buprenorphine, it limits the effects of buprenorphine on the brain. Even if additional buprenorphine is taken, it will not bring euphoric effects, hence discouraging abuse of the medication.
Naltrexone is also used in oxymorphone detox, but unlike methadone and buprenorphine, it is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opiates. Naltrexone is sometimes given after detox in order to deter relapse. It can also be given in an emergency to stop the effects of an overdose. Naltrexone isn’t used as commonly as methadone or buprenorphine in opioid addiction treatment.
Treatment for Oxymorphone Addiction
Many detox programs incorporate behavioral interventions into the treatment process. Behavioral interventions during detox can help the individual begin to recover from drug addiction by addressing the thoughts and behavior related to the substance abuse. Detox does not treat addiction; it is rather the first step in the overall recovery process. Further treatment is necessary following detox. Therapy modalities, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Contingency Management, and 12-Step programs, can help to address the underlying reasons behind addiction and sustain long-term recovery.