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Opana ER Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Opana ER

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • You must never consume alcohol, or even take medications that contain alcohol, while using Opana ER. Alcohol affects how the body handles Opana ER, and can lead to extremely high blood levels of the drug that may cause a fatal overdose.
  • Opana ER tablets are designed to release oxymorphone slowly over time. Do not dissolve, chew, or crush the tablets, as this could cause an overdose.
  • Opana ER is a narcotic medication with a significant potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Opana ER Abuse). Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with this drug, please seek help from your healthcare provider. Also, very serious problems have been reported when this medication was abused by injection. 
  • The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Opana ER should only be used with extreme caution in these circumstances.
  • Opana ER can cause slow and irregular breathing, especially at high doses. In severe situations, this may lead to life-threatening complications. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
  • Opana ER can cause a decrease in blood pressure, which can be especially dangerous if you already have low blood pressure or are prone to it. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience any signs of low blood pressure, such as:
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting.
  • Narcotics, including Opana ER, are likely to cause constipation. Usually, this side effect does not go away, even as you continue to take the drug. In most cases, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to Opana ER (see Opana ER and Constipation). Let your healthcare provider know if you develop severe constipation, as this could be a sign of an intestinal blockage.
  • Opana ER can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Like any other narcotic, Opana ER can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk for falls in elderly people.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Opana ER affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
  • Opana ER may not be the best choice for people with certain health problems, such as:
  • Opana ER is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Opana ER and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if Opana ER passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Opana ER and Breastfeeding).
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