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|Summary sheet: Oxymorphone|
|Routes of Administration|
Oxymorphone (also known by the brand name Opana) is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic used in the management of moderate to severe pain, and is similar in structure to other opioids such as morphine and heroin. Oxymorphone was first developed in Germany in 1914and introduced to the American market in 1959. Unlike many other opioids, oxymorphone is almost devoid of antitussive properties.Oxymorphone is an important precursor to other opioids and opioid antagonists such as naloxone.
Oxymorphone is an opioid of the morphinan class. Oxymorphone and other molecules of this class contain a polycyclic core of three benzene rings fused in a zig-zag pattern called phenanthrene. A fourth nitrogen containing ring is fused to the phenanthrene at R9 and R13 with the nitrogen member looking at R17 of the combined structure. This structure is called morphinan.
Oxymorphone molecules exert their effects by binding to and activating the μ-opioid receptor as an agonist. This occurs due to the way in which opioids structurally mimic endogenous endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for analgesia (reducing pain), causing sleepiness, and feelings of pleasure. They can be released in response to pain, strenuous exercise, orgasm, or excitement. This mimicking of natural endorphins results in the drug's euphoric, analgesic (pain relief), and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.
These appear to stem from the way in which opioids mimic endogenous endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for analgesia (reducing pain), causing sleepiness, and feelings of pleasure. They can be released in response to pain, strenuous exercise, orgasm, or excitement. This mimicking of natural endorphins results in the drug's effects.
The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects should be taken with a grain of salt and will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death.
- Euphoria - In comparison to other opioids, this particular substance can be considered similar in its physical euphoria when compared with that of morphine or diacetylmorphine (heroin) and more intense when compared to kratom and hydrocodone. The sensation itself can be described as feelings of intense physical comfort, warmth, love and bliss.
- Decreased libido
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain relief
- Pupil constriction
- Respiratory depression
- Skin flushing
- Appetite suppression
- Orgasm suppression
- Euphoria - In comparison to other opioids, this particular substance can be considered similar in its cognitive euphoria when compared with that of morphine or diacetylmorphine (heroin) and more intense when compared to kratom and hydrocodone. The sensation itself can be described as powerful and overwhelming feelings of emotional bliss, contentment, and happiness.
- Anxiety suppression
- Compulsive redosing
- Dream potentiation
- Internal hallucinations - One may experience a state of semi-consciousness and hypnagogia during heavy dosage nodding which results in dream-like states and up to level 3 imagery. This is often accompanied by ill-defined geometry.
Toxicity and harm potential
Like most opioids, unadulterated oxymorphone does not cause many long-term complications other than dependence and constipation. Outside of the extremely powerful addiction and physical dependence, the harmful or toxic aspects of oxymorphone usage are exclusively associated with not taking appropriate precautions in regards to its administration, overdosing and using impure products.
Heavy dosages of oxymorphone can result in respiratory depression, leading onto fatal or dangerous levels of anoxia (oxygen deprivation). This occurs because the breathing reflex is suppressed by agonism of µ-opioid receptors proportional to the dosage consumed.
Oxymorphone can also cause nausea and vomiting; a significant number of deaths attributed to opioid overdose are caused by aspiration of vomit by an unconscious victim. This is when an unconscious or semi-conscious user who is lying on their back vomits into their mouth and unknowingly suffocates. It can be prevented by ensuring that one is lying on their side with their head tilted downwards so that the airways cannot be blocked in the event of vomiting while unconscious (also known as the recovery position).
Opioid overdoses can be treated by calling the local emergency number and administering an opioid antagonist such as naloxone.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this drug.
Tolerance and addiction potential
As with other opiate-based painkillers, the chronic use of oxymorphone can be considered extremely addictive and is capable of causing both physical and psychological dependence. When physical dependence has developed, withdrawal symptoms may occur if a person suddenly stops their usage.
Tolerance to many of the effects of oxymorphone develops with prolonged use, including therapeutic effects. This results in users having to administer increasingly large doses to achieve the same effects. The rate at which this occurs develops at different rates for different effects with tolerance to the constipation-inducing effects developing particularly slowly.
The risk of fatal opioid overdoses rise sharply after a period of cessation and relapse, largely because of reduced tolerance. To account for this lack of tolerance, it is safer to only dose a fraction of one's usual dosage if relapsing. It has also been found that the environment one is in can play a role in opioid tolerance. In one scientific study, rats with the same history of heroin administration were significantly more likely to die after receiving their dose in an environment not associated with the drug in contrast to a familiar environment.
Oxymorphone is dangerous to use in combination with other depressants as many fatalities reported as overdoses are caused by interactions with other depressant drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines, resulting in dangerously high levels of respiratory depression.
- Depressants (1,4-Butanediol, 2m2b, alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, GHB/GBL, methaqualone) - This combination can result in dangerous or even fatal levels of respiratory depression. These substances potentiate the muscle relaxation, sedation and amnesia caused by one another and can lead to unexpected loss of consciousness at high doses. There is also an increased risk of vomiting during unconsciousness and death from the resulting suffocation. If this occurs, users should attempt to fall asleep in the recovery position or have a friend move them into it.
- Dissociatives - This combination can result in an increased risk of vomiting during unconsciousness and death from the resulting suffocation. If this occurs, users should attempt to fall asleep in the recovery position or have a friend move them into it.
- Stimulants - It is dangerous to combine oxymorphone, a depressant, with stimulants due to the risk of excessive intoxication. Stimulants decrease the sedative effect of oxymorphone, which is the main factor most people consider when determining their level of intoxication. Once the stimulant wears off, the effects of oxymorphone will be significantly increased, leading to intensified disinhibition as well as other effects. If combined, one should strictly limit themselves to only taking a certain amount of oxymorphone. Some stimulants may also lower the seizure threshold.
- United Kingdom - Oxymorphone is a Class A, Schedule 2 drug in the United Kingdom.
- United States - Oxymorphone is a Schedule II Controlled Substance in the United States.
- Risks of Combining Depressants (Tripsit) | https://tripsit.me/combining-depressants/
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- Merck Manual of Home Health Handbook – 2nd edition, 2003, p. 2097
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- Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substances | https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/orangebook/e_cs_sched.pdf