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Oxymorphone (Extended Release)

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse; Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression; Accidnetal Ingestion; Neonatal Opioid Syndrome; and Interaction with Alcohol; Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse 

  • Oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions 
  • Consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression 

  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxymorphone 
  • Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders including central sleep apnea (CSA) and sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a dose-dependent fashion. In patients who present with CSA, consider decreasing the opioid dosage using best practices for opioid taper.

Accidental Ingestion

  • Accidental ingestion of even one dose of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of oxymorphone

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome 

  • Prolonged use of oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available

Interaction with Alcohol

  • Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products that contain alcohol while taking oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets. The co-ingestion of alcohol with oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets may result in increased plasma levels and a potentially fatal overdose of oxymorphone 

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants 
Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death 

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a REMS for these productsUnder the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to:

  • complete a REMS-compliant education program,
  • counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,
  • emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and
  • consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.

FDA and Industry Communications

Index to FDA Drug Safety Information

Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS)

Opioid Analgesics

Patient Counseling Information

Medication Guides

Patient Medication Guide - Oxymorphone
Patient Medication Guide - OPANA ER

Package Inserts


Additional Information

Updated April 2021