Opana is the brand name for a semi-synthetic opiate painkiller medication created from the base ingredient oxymophone. Synthesized from thebaine, which is found within the opium poppy, oxymorphone is estimated to be approximately 10 times more potent than morphine.
Opana was once commonly prescribed to treat severe pain in patients requiring continuous opioid treatment in situations where alternative treatment options are no longer adequate. However, the FDA has requested the drug's manufacturer to remove the medication from the market due to its highly addictive nature.
While the prescription pain medication can provide relief for chronic pain, it also has the potential to cause unwanted side effects in some people. Some common minor Opana side effects can include:
Some of the more minor Opana side effects may not require any medication attention. Many users may find that some side effects may simply disappear as the body become accustomed to the medication over time.
Opiate painkiller medications can induce serious side effects in some people, even when taking the recommended doses. Many of the major Opana side effects may require emergency medical attention.
Some of the more adverse Opana side effects may be more prevalent in people taking the drug for recreational purposes. Some of the more serious Opana side effects can include:
Slow heartbeat and low blood pressure: Opiate medications act as depressants on the central nervous system and can cause low blood pressure and a slowed heart rate.
Tolerance: Tolerance to Opana can develop quickly. The user may feel the need to take higher doses in order to achieve the same effects that used to be reached with smaller amounts.
Abuse and addiction: Opiate painkiller medications such as Opana have a high risk of addiction, even when used exactly as prescribed by a doctor. However, Opana also has a high risk of abuse by people who intentionally take them for recreational or non-medical purposes, which increases the risk of addiction further. Opana addiction is treated in an identical manner to treating heroin addiction and may require medications such as methadone or buprenorphine to break the body's physical dependency on the drug.
Increased risk of accidental overdose: Opana ER is formulated as an extended-release opioid medication, which increases the risk of accidental overdose. Even when taken within the recommended doses, the drug still has an increased risk of accidental overdose.
Respiratory depression: Opiate drugs can cause the breathing rate to become very slow in users, which can lead to a serious threat of users experiencing potentially life-threatening respiratory depression, particularly following an increase of dosage. The risk is further increased if the medication is taken in any other way other than by swallowing the pill whole, including crushing, chewing or dissolving the drug in a solution to be injected.
Loss of consciousness: One of the common Opana side effects can include feeling fatigued. However, some people may experience extreme sleepiness before losing consciousness completely. In the case of an accidental overdose, loss of consciousness may be coupled with symptoms that include respiratory depression and coma.
Withdrawal symptoms: A person who has developed a dependency on opioid medications may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if usage is stopped suddenly. Opana withdrawal symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bone and muscle aches, anxiety and depression, insomnia, profuse sweating, excessive yawning or sneezing, and flu-like symptoms.