Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Oxymorphone ER
Specific Oxymorphone ER Precautions and WarningsSome 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 oxymorphone ER. Alcohol affects how the body handles oxymorphone ER, and can lead to extremely high blood levels of the drug that may cause a fatal overdose.
- Oxymorphone ER tablets are designed to release oxymorphone slowly over time. Do not dissolve, chew, or crush the tablets, as this could cause an overdose.
- Oxymorphone 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.
- The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Oxymorphone ER should only be used with extreme caution in these circumstances.
- Oxymorphone 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.
- Oxymorphone 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:
- Narcotics, including oxymorphone 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 oxymorphone 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. Also, very serious problems have been reported when this medication was abused by injection.
- Oxymorphone ER can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
- Like any other narcotic, oxymorphone 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 oxymorphone ER affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
- Oxymorphone ER may not be the best choice for people with certain health problems, such as:
- Oxymorphone ER may react with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Oxymorphone ER).
- Oxymorphone 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 oxymorphone 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).