Oxymorphone is an opioid drug that is marketed under the brand name Opana.
It shares similarities with other opioids and is generally detectable in a person’s system for two to three days following use. However, its detectability is dependent on several different factors.
Opana is now only available in an immediate-release version. The extended-release version (Opana ER) was voluntarily removed from the market by its manufacturer Endo Pharmaceutics in 2017.
It was removed from the market because the drug was significantly abused, and a large number of overdoses were reported as a result of its abuse.
Oxymorphone is also available as a generic medication in both an immediate-release and extended-release form.
Oxymorphone is designed to relieve moderate to severe pain.
As an opioid, it is classified as a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the Schedule II category. This indicates that it has appropriate medical uses (treating pain), but it is also a potential drug of abuse, and its continued use may produce physical dependence.
Immediate-release versions of the drug require multiple doses throughout the day, whereas extended-release versions of the drug require only a single dose, which is typically taken in the morning. Extended-release versions are designed for those who need continuous pain relief that cannot be appropriately reduced with the use of non-narcotic drugs.
Of the opioids covered in the annual survey of drug use and misuse conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), oxymorphone products were the least used opioids, but users reported a relatively high rate of misuse for 2016 and 2017.
While the availability of oxymorphone, either by prescription or through illicit means, appears to be declining, it is still a significant potential drug of abuse.
The half-life of oxymorphone is between nine and 11 hours in most people.
The half-life of any drug refers to the time it takes metabolism to break down the drug and decrease its level in the bloodstream by half its original concentration. Under normal circumstances, it will typically take between five to six half-life periods for a drug to be entirely eliminated from a person’s system.
For most people taking a medicinal prescription of oxymorphone, the drug will be eliminated within about 60 hours after taking it. The normal range would be 45 to 66 hours for complete elimination in most people.
However, there are other factors that can affect drug elimination. Certain metabolites of the drug that are detectable through specific tests may still be in a person’s system following this period of time.
As mentioned above, after about six half-lives, the drug is eliminated from most people’s systems.
Opioids are readily detectable through most standard drug screens; however, there are some intervening factors that can affect this general window of time.
Urine tests can detect the presence of oxymorphone for up to three to four days
Saliva tests may be able to detect the presence of oxymorphone one to four days after using it
Blood tests may detect the presence of oxymorphone for up to 24 hours after use
Hair follicle tests have the longest window of detection for most substances. They may be able to detect the presence of oxymorphone in the body for up to 90 days
Because oxycodone is an opioid, most standard drug panel tests will detect its presence.
Using herbal products, drinking copious amounts of fluids, and using other strategies to flush the substance from the system or mask it are usually only marginally effective. Many times, these strategies invalidate the results of a drug test and suggest that the person has done something to mask their use of a prohibited drug.
(March 2018). Oxymorphone. MedlinePlus. from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a610022.html
(July 2017). At FDA Urging, Drug Maker Pulls Opana ER Off Market. Arthritis Foundation News Blog. from http://blog.arthritis.org/news/opana-er-off-market/
(N.D.) Drug Scheduling. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. from https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling
(October 2018). National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHDetailedTabs2017/NSDUHDetailedTabs2017.pdf