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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tweak Your Radar -- Opana

Some people are asking for blues, biscuits, octagons, stop signs and pink ladies. What are these veiled requests? These people are looking for drugs; they are using street names for the drug Opana. Oh, no, when will the madness stop? Shades of OxyContin? I certainly believe so. People are abusing yet another deadly rx drug.

These are excerpts from an actual online forum thread by someone who calls himself an "avid Oxycodone user."
"OC80 is the most popular drug in the world for a reason. As a pill, it is and always will be the most wonderful pill to abuse...You can sniff it, eat it, smoke it, plug it, or shoot it-- whatever you choice is, it will suit you well...I've done heroin, and much prefer the alert and stimulating high OC has, even if the euphoria is a bit less than H.

"I scored a number of Opana 40s. FYI-- Opana orally is 2x the strength of OC...It is supposedly 4-6x the potency. This means 40mg of Opana should compare to 160-200mg of OC-- theoretically!

"Opana is a great drug too-- it's effects are second only to OC's.

"The OC high is the perfect opiate high...Opana's strength is a plus, however, since one 40mg can provide so much pleasure to a snorter. The high lasts long as well-- slightly longer than oxycodone I'd say. Oxycodone wins, but Opana is great and I will continue to enjoy it's specific refined effects which my mood may call for at times, or go great in combination wtih some OC."

WARNING: The comments from the "avid Oxycodone user" are printed in this blog entry to warn everyone of the dangers of drug abuse and to discourage anyone from abusing drugs. I am not quoting the material to, in any way, inform people about the benefits of being "high" on any rx prescription. Please, never abuse any drug, particularly OxyContin and Opana. If you do, you are playing Russian roulette. You may become addicted or you may die.

Quite frankly, I am shocked that Opana is making its way into the drug culture. Like OxyContin, it is a drug that demands attention because of its potential deadly effects.

What Is Opana?

Opana ER is a CII controlled substance. It is a prescription medicine that contains the opioid (narcotic pain medicine) oxymorphone. Opana ER is used to treat adults with constant pain (around the clock) that is moderate to severe and is expected to last for an extended period of time. 

Opana's manufacturer, Endo Pharmaceuticals, says the drug was developed in part to provide an alternative to patients who’ve developed a tolerance for a specific painkiller. They claim Opana’s added benefit to patients is that the drug is a “true” twice-a-day opioid. Endo stresses that Opana ER is not for occasional ("as needed") use.

A spokesman for the company suggested that while OxyContin is advertised as a 12-hour medication, its users “tend” to take OxyContin more frequently. (Matt Elzweig, "Opana: A Brief History," New York Press, March 12 2008)

Endo says, "The challenges of treating chronic pain are complex. Opana ER has been developed to help manage many of those challenges." Here is the Endo Opana information site:

Warnings About Opana

Here is the boxed warning for Opana ER:

  • WARNING: OPANA ER contains oxymorphone, which is a morphine-like opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance, with an abuse liability similar to other opioid analgesics.
  • Oxymorphone can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing OPANA ER in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion.
  • OPANA ER is an extended-release oral formulation of oxymorphone indicated for the management of moderate to severe pain when a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period of time.
  • OPANA ER is NOT intended for use as an as needed analgesic.
  • OPANA ER TABLETS are to be swallowed whole and are not to be broken, chewed, dissolved, or crushed. Taking broken, chewed, dissolved, or crushed OPANA ER TABLETS leads to rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxymorphone.
  • Patients must not consume alcoholic beverages, or prescription or nonprescription medications containing alcohol, while on OPANA ER therapy. The co-ingestion of alcohol with OPANA ER may result in increased plasma levels and a potentially fatal overdose of oxymorphone.

Here are some (by no means meant to be an all-inclusive list) of the dangers involved with taking Opana:

Respiratory depression is the chief hazard of Opana and Opana ER, particularly in elderly or debilitated patients.

Patients receiving other opioid analgesics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines or other tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics, or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) may experience additive effects resulting in respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, or coma.

OPANA and OPANA ER should be used with caution in elderly and debilitated patients and in patients who are known to be sensitive to CNS depressants, such as those with cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, or hepatic disease. OPANA and OPANA ER should be used with caution in patients with mild hepatic impairment and in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment. These patients should be started cautiously with lower doses of OPANA or OPANA ER while carefully monitoring for side effects.

Endo's site:

Opana: The Bottom Line

Opana (Oxymorphone, Numorphan, Numorphone) is related to morphine in the same fashion that oxycodone is to codeine; they are all derived from thebaine, and are said to be approximately 6–8 times more potent than morphine. Opana can generate a serious narcotic habit rather quickly in those who take it recreationally in that it has powerful euphoric properties which some rank as the highest amongst narcotics, even placing it above morphine, heroin, hydromorphone, and dextromoramide. (, 2008)

An addiction to the prescription painkiller Opana can have devastating consequences. While many people take Opana for legitimate pain, it can develop a physical and/or psychological dependence with regular use. Over time, even a relatively short-term period, a tolerance can develop, so some people decide to escalate use or misuse Opana in other ways that are dangerous. The use of narcotic painkillers can lead to tolerance, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, the need for detox and even death.

It's Here

WSAZ News recently carried a story about Opana and its presence in Pike County, Kentucky. According to the WSAZ report, police and health officials said Opana was now being abused in Eastern Kentucky. ("Concern About People Abusing the Drug 'Opana,'", October 13 2010)

“Smaller doses work like higher doses of morphine,” said Nell Johnson, Pikeville Medical Center Director For Addiction Services.“(Opana is) one of the new drugs young people are getting into and taking to abuse,” Johnson reported.

Officials said, when injected, Opana is considerably stronger (allegedly "20 times stronger) than OxyContin. They warned that the drug is very, very dangerous, saying that the wrong combination is like taking a suicide cocktail.

Other officials in Tazewell County, Virginia, are warning about the dangers of Opana. It has been blamed for several overdoses in the county. ("SW Virginia Officials Say Opana Drug Abuse Increasing, Attribute Drug to 6 Deaths," The Associated Press, July 9 2011)

"Six overdose deaths have been attributed to the strong pain medication Opana, which also is known as Numorpha, Mumorphone and oxymorphone," Tazewell County Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Lee said.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported that law enforcement agencies started seeing abuse of Opana about nine months ago. Law enforcement officials nationwide have seen increasing abuse of the drug, along with overdoses.

The Telegraph said the danger is that people (such as users of Dilaudid and oxycodone) aren't used to the potency of the drug. And, because it will require more doses to maintain a stable high, a serious habit can form rather quickly.

"I think in the community of individuals who are addicted, there is an ignorance about this drug," Tazewell County Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Lee said. "They feel it's another form of oxycodone and that it is reformulated, but it is not."

The full report is here:

Attention Mr. Avid Oxycodone User


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