May 29, 2017
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Opana ER

"Two US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panels ” the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee (AADPAC) and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee (DSaRM) ” voted 18 to 1 in favor of recommending approval of the abus"...


Opana ER

Side Effects


The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

The safety of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets was evaluated in a total of 2011 patients in open-label and controlled clinical trials. The clinical trials enrolled of patients with moderate to severe chronic non-malignant pain, cancer pain, and post surgical pain. The most common serious adverse events reported with administration of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets were chest pain, pneumonia and vomiting.

Tables 1 and 2 list the most frequently occurring adverse reactions (in at least 5% of patients) from the placebo-controlled trials in patients with low back pain.

Table 1:Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions Reported in ≥ 5% of Patients During the Open-Label Titration Period and Double-Blind Treatment Period by Preferred Term —Number (%) of Treated Patients (12-Week Study In Opioid-Nave Patients with Low Back Pain)

Preferred Term Open-Label Titration Period Double-Blind Treatment Period
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Extended - Release Tablets
(N = 325)
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Extended - Release Tablets
(N = 105)
(N = 100)
Constipation 26% 7% 1%
Somnolence 19% 2% 0%
Nausea 18% 11% 9%
Dizziness 11% 5% 3%
Headache 11% 4% 2%
Pruritus 7% 3% 1%

Table 2: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions Reported in ≥ 5% of Patients During the Open-Label Titration Period and Double-Blind Treatment Period by Preferred Term —Number (%) of Treated Patients (12-Week Study In Opioid-Experienced Patients with Low Back Pain)

Preferred Term Open-Label Titration Period Double-Blind Treatment Period
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Extended - Release Tablets
(N = 250)
Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Extended - Release Tablets
(N = 70)
(N = 72)
Nausea 20% 3% 1%
Constipation 12% 6% 1%
Headache 12% 3% 0%
Somnolence 11% 3% 0%
Vomiting 9% 0% 1%
Pruritus 8% 0% 0%
Dizziness 6% 0% 0%

The following table lists adverse reactions that were reported in at least 2% of patients in placebo-controlled trials (N=5).

Table 3: Adverse Reactions Reported in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials with Incidence ≥ 2% in Patients Receiving Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets

MedDRA Preferred Term Oxymorphone Hydrochloride Extended - Release Tablets
Nausea 33% 13%
Constipation 28% 13%
Dizziness (Excl Vertigo) 18% 8%
Somnolence 17% 2%
Vomiting 16% 4%
Pruritus 15% 8%
Headache 12% 6%
Sweating increased 9% 9%
Dry mouth 6% < 1%
Sedation 6% 8%
Diarrhea 4% 6%
Insomnia 4% 2%
Fatigue 4% 1%
Appetite decreased 3% < 1%
Abdominal pain 3% 2%

The common ( ≥ 1% to < 10%) adverse drug reactions reported at least once by patients treated with oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the clinical trials organized by MedDRA's (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities) System Organ Class and not represented in Table 1 were:

Eye disorders: vision blurred

Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia

General disorders and administration site conditions: dry mouth, appetite decreased, fatigue, lethargy, weakness, pyrexia, dehydration, weight decreased, edema

Nervous system disorders: insomnia

Psychiatric disorders: anxiety, confusion, disorientation, restlessness, nervousness, depression

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea

Vascular disorders: flushing and hypertension

Other less common adverse reactions known with opioid treatment that were seen < 1% in the oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets trials include the following: Bradycardia, palpitation, syncope, tachycardia, postural hypotension, miosis, abdominal distention, ileus, hot flashes, allergic reactions, hypersensitivity, urticaria, oxygen saturation decreased, central nervous system depression, depressed level of consciousness, agitation, dysphoria, euphoric mood, hallucination, mental status changes, difficult micturition, urinary retention, hypoxia, respiratory depression, respiratory distress, clamminess, dermatitis, hypotension.

Post-marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of OPANA ER. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Nervous system disorder: amnesia, convulsion, memory impairment

Read the Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride extended release) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects



Concomitant use of alcohol with OPANA ER can result in an increase of oxymorphone plasma levels and potentially fatal overdose of oxymorphone. Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products containing alcohol while on OPANA ER therapy [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

CNS Depressants

The concomitant use of OPANA ER with other CNS depressants including sedatives, hypnotics, tranquilizers, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, other opioids, and alcohol can increase the risk of respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma and death. Monitor patients receiving CNS depressants and OPANA ER for signs of respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension.

When combined therapy with any of the above medications is considered, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Interactions With Mixed Agonist/Antagonist And Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics

Mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (i.e., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) and partial agonists (buprenorphine) may reduce the analgesic effect of OPANA ER or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics in patients receiving OPANA ER.

Muscle Relaxants

Oxymorphone may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression. Monitor patients receiving muscle relaxants and OPANA ER for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected.


Cimetidine can potentiate opioid-induced respiratory depression. Monitor patients for respiratory depression when OPANA ER and cimetidine are used concurrently.


Anticholinergics or other medications with anticholinergic activity when used concurrently with opioid analgesics may result in increased risk of urinary retention and/or severe constipation, which may lead to paralytic ileus. Monitor patients for signs of respiratory and central nervous system depression when OPANA ER is used concurrently with anticholinergic drugs.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Controlled Substance

OPANA ER contains oxymorphone, a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to other opioids including fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone and tapentadol. OPANA ER can be abused and is subject to criminal diversion [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

The high drug content in extended release formulations adds to the risk of adverse outcomes from abuse and misuse.


All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, since use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.

Drug abuse is the intentional non-therapeutic use of an over-the-counter or prescription drug, even once, for its rewarding psychological or physiological effects. Drug abuse includes, but is not limited to the following examples: the use of a prescription or over-the counter drug to get ”high”, or the use of steroids for performance enhancement and muscle build up.

Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and include: a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance , and sometimes a physical withdrawal.

"Drug seeking" behavior is very common to addicts and drug abusers. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing or referral, repeated claims of loss of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating physician(s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers) to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction. Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control.

Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction.

OPANA ER, like other opioids, can be diverted for non-medical use into illicit channels of distribution. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests as required by state law, is strongly advised.

Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to reduce abuse of opioid drugs.

Risks Specific to Abuse of OPANA ER

OPANA ER is for oral use only. Abuse of OPANA ER poses a risk of overdose and death. This risk is increased with concurrent abuse of OPANA ER with alcohol and other substances. Taking cut, broken, chewed, crushed, or dissolved OPANA ER enhances drug release and increases the risk of over dose and death.

With parenteral abuse, cases of thrombotic microangiopathy (a condition characterized clinically by thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia) have been reported; many cases resulted in hospitalization and treatment with plasmapheresis. Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.


Both tolerance and physical dependence can develop during chronic opioid therapy. Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs, and may develop at different rates for different effects.

Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity, e.g., naloxone, nalmefene, mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine), or partial agonists (buprenorphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage

OPANA ER should not be abruptly discontinued [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. If OPANA ER is abruptly discontinued in a physically-dependent patient, an abstinence syndrome may occur. Some or all of the following can characterize this syndrome: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and symptoms also may develop, including: irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate.

Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal symptoms [see Use In Specific Populations].

Read the Opana ER Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/24/2016

Side Effects

Opana ER - User Reviews

Opana ER User Reviews

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