Opana Withdrawal

Opana withdrawal is a normal, predictable consequence of taking this opioid for a long time and then suddenly stopping. You experience Opana withdrawal through physical symptoms that can last five or more days; psychological symptoms of withdrawal may last much longer.


Your body adapts to the presence of Opana by adjusting its own chemical balance. With continued use, your body becomes tolerant of Opana, which means you have to take an ever-increasing amount of Opana to get high or relieve pain. If you use Opana for a long time, your body may become dependent on Opana; this means you have to continue taking Opana for your body to feel normal.

If the level of opioids drops rapidly, the body struggles to maintain its chemical balance. Doctors call this "detoxification." You can cause detoxification by missing a dose, taking an insufficient dose or using a medicine such as naloxone that drops opioid levels. You feel this battle for chemical stability through withdrawal symptoms.

Chronic abuse of certain prescription drugs, especially opioids such as Opana, can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Anyone can develop an addiction to or dependence on Opana after taking this drug for a long time. Physical dependence and Opana withdrawal are serious conditions, requiring the help of a qualified professional.


Opana is an opioid pain reliever containing oxymorphone, widely prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, pharmacists filled more than a million oxymorphone prescriptions in 2007, making this drug widely available for diversion from legal use to illegal consumption.

There are a bounty of prescription opioids in the United States. Americans take more opioid painkillers like Opana than another other nation on earth. Even though Americans account for about 5 percent of global population, they consume 80 percent of the world's supply of opioids, according to the Institute of Addiction Medicine.

Opana withdrawal symptoms are painful and demoralizing, but usually not life threatening. The severity and duration of Opana withdrawal symptoms depends on how long you have been taking Opana and the doses you would normally take.

Abuse, Dependence and Opana Withdrawal

The oxymorphone in Opana is associated with abuse, physical dependence and addiction. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse, and has classified Opana as a Schedule II narcotic. This means Opana carries a relatively high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence.

To reduce this potential for abuse, the DEA prohibits refills on schedule II narcotics such as Opana. Many opioid-dependent people try beat the system by placing an emergency call after hours. She may show up at the doctor's office just as it is closing up for the day, and then refusing examination, testing or referral to another facility. She may stall when asked to provide her prior medical records or contact information for her other caregivers. She may go "doctor shopping" to get as many written prescriptions as she can.

She may also present fake prescriptions at pharmacies. An opioid-dependent individual may seem to lose her prescriptions frequently; she may even tamper with her written prescription so she gets more pills in each bottle.

As the local physicians and pharmacies become familiar with the Opana-dependent individual and begin refusing prescriptions for her, she will get Opana from friends, family or by purchasing it on the street.


Withdrawal from opioids is typically associated with physical symptoms similar to the flu, but withdrawal also causes psychological symptoms whose demoralizing affects can be just as overpowering as the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Physical symptoms of Opana withdrawal last five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day. You can ease these Opana withdrawal symptoms by taking medicine to address each symptom, drugs that mimic Opana's effects or by taking more Opana. Without medical attention and professional support, the promise of relief from withdrawal symptoms may tempt you to take more Opana.


Opana withdrawal symptoms are similar to other opioids and include:

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever, Runny Nose or Sneezing
  • Goose Bumps and Abnormal Skin Sensations
  • Hot Sweats and Cold Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Low Energy Level
  • Muscle Aches or Pains
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Rigid Muscles
  • Runny Nose
  • Shivering, Tremors
  • Teary Eyes
  • Yawning


Many people overlook the powerful impact of the psychological symptoms of Opana withdrawal. The psychological aspects of Opana withdrawal can leave you feeling unworthy or incapable of recovery. Left untreated or undertreated, these psychological symptoms increase your risk for relapse.

Psychological symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation

Possible Complications

The greatest complication associated with Opana withdrawal is relapse. Without proper intervention, many individuals suffer countless cycles of relapse and remission. Each relapse can make recovery seem even further out of reach.

You face a greater risk for toxic overdose if you have experienced Opana withdrawal symptoms just before taking more Opana. Any amount of detoxification reduces your tolerance to opioids. Even after feeling moderate withdrawal symptoms, you could potentially overdose on a smaller dose of Opana than you used to take.

Other complications of Opana withdrawal include vomiting and then breathing the stomach contents into the lungs, known as aspiration. Aspiration may result in fluid in the lungs or lung infections. Extreme vomiting and diarrhea might cause dehydration. Left untreated, dehydration can cause electrolyte imbalances and other serious medical conditions.

Treatment options

Without proper medical treatment, you might find yourself trapped in a dangerous cycle of recovery and relapse. Effective treatment includes two phases: detoxification and rehabilitation. While detoxification deals specifically with the process of Opana withdrawal, rehabilitation helps you avoid relapses and therefore reduce the number of times you will need to endure Opana withdrawal.

Detoxification is the medical process of lowering Opana levels in your body. With most types of detoxification processes, you can expect several days of intense withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to lower levels of Opana.

The rehabilitation phase includes behavior modification and counseling to teach you how to live without Opana. Trained professionals give you the tools you need to change behaviors associated with drug abuse.


You might someday be tempted to try self-detoxification, commonly called "going cold turkey." Cold turkey refers to the way your skin looks during detoxification: pale, cold and clammy with goose bumps, much like a plucked turkey's skin.

Self-detoxification offers no protection against brutal physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. During self-detoxification, you will experience the full brunt of Opana withdrawal symptoms. Your risk for complications and relapse rises too.

The goal of self-detoxification is to make it through five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day. Many people take another dose of Opana just to stop the discomfort. Self-detoxification is miserable and ineffective.

Some people create homemade remedies including medicines to reduce individual withdrawal symptoms. One such concoction is The Thomas Recipe, which includes valium or some other benzodiazepine to calm the nerves and help you sleep. Imodium eases your diarrhea while mineral supplements and hot baths relieve your muscle aches.

On or about the fourth day, you will awaken with an overpowering lack of energy and intense malaise that makes it difficult to move around. You can take L-Tyrosine with B6 for a burst of energy.

While the Thomas Recipe addresses some of your Opana withdrawal symptoms, you still face a high risk for complications such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse. Returning to Opana addiction after even a short attempt at detoxification may result in life threatening overdose.


Taking high doses of Opana, or taking Opana after experiencing withdrawal symptoms, increases your risk for overdose. Overdose is a serious, sometimes fatal medical emergency. If you think you or someone you know has taken too much Opana, seek emergency assistance immediately by going to the emergency room or calling an ambulance. If you need immediate help, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of Opana overdose include:

  • Breathing that Stops
  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Confusion
  • Extreme Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Pinpoint Pupils
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Weak Pulse

Opana overdose can be fatal - you or your loved one needs immediate medical care. In the emergency department, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce Opana to safe levels. Nurses monitor your vital signs, watch for complications and establish an airway to help you breathe. If possible, nurses may empty your stomach or administer charcoal to absorb excess Opana. Nurses and doctors perform CPR or other life-saving measures as nessary.

If you are in otherwise good physical condition, you may benefit from Drug Replacement Therapy, or DRT. The theory of DRT is to replace Opana with medications such as methadone, Suboxone or buprenorphine. DRT medications act similarly to Opana, so you will not feel withdrawal symptoms, but DRT drugs do not get you high. DRT allows you to put off the detoxification stage while you begin counseling sessions.

At some point, however, you will have to wean yourself from the replacement drug by taking smaller doses at increasingly larger intervals.

Many advocates support DRT because it allows patients to work and live at home while they engaged in treatment. Opponents of DRT say it is merely trading one addiction for another.

Many people have trouble quitting the replacement drug. Harvard Medical School says that 25 percent of methadone DRT patients eventually quit using drugs altogether, another 25 percent continues to take the replacement drug and 50 percent go on and off methadone.

DRT is just one kind of Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. Medications reduce the overpowering symptoms of withdrawal, helping you tolerate the process long enough to successfully detoxify your body from Opana.

Rehabilitation professionals say that MAT is an important and effective treatment approach because it:

  • Improves Survival Rates
  • Increase Retention in Treatment
  • Decreases Illicit Opioid Use
  • Decreases The Risk for Hepatitis and HIV
  • Decreases Criminal Activities
  • Increases Employment
  • Improves Birth Outcomes for Pregnant Women Battling Addiction

Standard detoxification involves a hospital stay. During inpatient care, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce Opana levels along with other drugs to control the ensuing withdrawal symptoms. While standard inpatient detoxification procedures relieve the severity and duration of symptoms somewhat, you still struggle with lengthy, uncomfortable and demoralizing battle that acts as a psychological barrier to recovery.

Rapid detox is the most humane form of detoxification available today. Rapid detox quickly puts you in a prime position to deal with your dependence on Opana. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs alongside sedatives and anesthesia, so you doze in a peaceful "twilight sleep" instead of throwing up and not sleeping for days on end. When you awaken from rapid detox, you will have no memory of the grueling detoxification process. Instead of a few days, you are ready for meaningful behavior modification in a few hours.


Dependence on opioids such as Opana affects every aspect of your life. Rehabilitative treatment gives you the tools you need to live without Opana. Without rehabilitation, you are likely to return to drug abuse and potentially face repeated bouts of Opana withdrawal as you cycle between relapse and remission.

There is a wide variety of rehabilitation options available, from long-term residential facilities to monthly meetings with a trained counselor. Treatment largely depends on the severity of your dependence to Opana and other personal needs, such as childcare or time away from work.

No single treatment is appropriate for everyone, but treatment does need to be readily available. It is critical that you remain in treatment long enough to change the behavioral patterns that led to dependence on Opana.

Effective treatment attends to your multiple needs, such as physical and mental health issues, legal or social problems and other aspects of drug abuse. Treatment should not just focus on easing symptoms associated with Opana withdrawal. Overcoming Opana withdrawal symptoms is only the first stage of treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse.

Your treatment plan may include individual, family or group counseling and other behavioral therapies. Therapy may also include medication, an important element of treatment for many patients. Many people who are dependent on opioids such as Opana have other physical and mental disorders.

The rehabilitation professional overseeing your treatment will continually assess your progress and modify your treatment plan so that it always fits your changing needs. Your counselor will also monitor for drug use, as relapses do occur. She may test you for certain illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases and provide information on how to reduce your risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.

Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. According to NIDA, individuals under legal coercion tend to remain in treatment longer than and do better than those not under pressure.

Description: Information about Opana withdrawal, including a definition, general facts, causes, symptoms, complications, treatment and rehabilitation