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Opana ER and Breastfeeding

The manufacturer of Opana ER (oxymorphone ER) recommends that women use this medication cautiously while breastfeeding. Although it is unknown if the drug passes through breast milk, there are some potentially serious complications associated with this medicine. It may be possible that taking Opana ER could cause problems, such as constipation, difficulty breathing, or poor feeding, in a nursing infant.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Opana ER?

At this time, it is unknown if Opana® ER (oxymorphone ER) passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that this medication be used cautiously in women who are nursing. If you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Opana ER.
 

More Information on Opana ER and Breastfeeding

No research has been done to see if oxymorphone (the active ingredient of Opana ER) passes through breast milk. To err on the side of caution, it should be assumed that the drug does pass through breast milk, although this might not actually be true. If a nursing infant is exposed to a significant amount of oxymorphone, it may cause serious problems. Some of these problems could include:
 
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor feeding (due to drowsiness or stomach upset)
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Withdrawal symptoms when oxymorphone is stopped (see Opana ER Withdrawal).
 
It is important to note that Opana ER is not appropriate for treating normal pain after childbirth. This medication is approved only for long-term, around-the-clock use to treat long-lasting pain. It should not be used for short-term pain, such as most pain related to childbirth.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Opana ER use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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