Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

Opana vs. Oxycodone: Understanding Differences in Pain Management

Jump to Section

Opana and Oxycodone are both powerful opioid medications commonly used for pain management. While they share similarities in their effectiveness in relieving pain, there are important differences between the two drugs that patients and healthcare providers should be aware of. By understanding these differences, individuals can make informed decisions about which medication may be most suitable for their specific needs.

Opana, also known by its generic name oxymorphone, is a potent semi-synthetic opioid analgesic. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, altering the way the body perceives and responds to pain. Opana is primarily used to manage moderate to severe pain in cases where other pain medications have proven ineffective.

On the other hand, Oxycodone is a widely prescribed opioid medication used to treat various types of pain. It activates opioid receptors in the central nervous system, reducing the intensity of the pain signals sent to the brain. Oxycodone is commonly prescribed for acute pain, chronic pain, and as part of post-operative pain management.

While both Opana and Oxycodone are effective at relieving pain, there are differences to consider. One significant difference is in their chemical composition. Opana is derived from thebaine, an alkaloid found in opium, while Oxycodone is synthesized from thebaine as well. This difference in composition can lead to variations in how the medications interact with the body and produce pain relief.

Another aspect to consider is the potential side effects of each medication. Opana and Oxycodone can both cause common side effects such as drowsiness, constipation, and nausea. However, the specific side effects and their severity may vary between the two drugs. There are differences in the potential for addiction and abuse associated with each medication.

The legal status of Opana and Oxycodone also differs. Opana has been subject to stricter regulations and even had its extended-release formulation recalled in 2017 due to concerns of misuse and abuse. Oxycodone, while still a controlled substance, has a more established history and broader range of available formulations.

Choosing between Opana and Oxycodone requires careful consideration of various factors, including the individual’s medical history, pain intensity, and potential sensitivity to opioids. Consulting with a healthcare provider is essential to determine the most suitable medication and dosage for each patient.

What is Opana

What is Opana?

Opana is the brand name for the opioid oxymorphone, a powerful pain reliever prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It works by binding to brain and spinal cord receptors, reducing pain sensation:

1. Active ingredient: Opana contains oxymorphone hydrochloride, belonging to the opioid class.

2. Pain management: Opana effectively manages chronic pain, cancer-related pain, or post-surgery pain that other medications may not control.

3. Dosage forms: Opana is available in immediate-release and extended-release tablets, with the extended-release formulation providing long-lasting pain relief.

4. Potential side effects: Opana can cause drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, and nausea. If not used as directed by a healthcare professional, it may lead to more serious complications such as respiratory depression or addiction.

5. Addiction and misuse: Opana has the potential for addiction and misuse. It should only be used by the prescribed person, adhering to the prescribed dosage and instructions.

It is crucial to use Opana under the supervision of a healthcare professional. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Remember to always follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations and never take any medication like Adderall or alternatives, for example, without medical guidance.

How Does Opana Work?

Opana is a medication used for pain management. Individuals may wonder how Opana works to provide pain relief.

Opana binds to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, particularly the mu receptors. This binding action blocks the transmission of pain signals and reduces the perception of pain in the central nervous system. By inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling, Opana effectively provides relief from pain.

It is important to note that Opana should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as it can be potent and addictive.

Before considering Opana as a pain management option, individuals should have a discussion with their healthcare provider like those at Lantana about their condition and medical history to ensure safe and effective use. The decision to use Opana should be based on a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional, taking into consideration the severity of pain, underlying cause, and potential drug interactions.

While understanding how Opana works can be helpful in making informed decisions about pain management, it is crucial to seek personalized advice and recommendations from a healthcare provider.

Opana vs. Oxycodone: Understanding Differences in Pain Management

What Conditions is Opana Used to Treat?

Opana is a medication that is used to treat a variety of conditions. It is particularly effective in managing moderate to severe pain, including chronic pain, post-operative pain, and cancer-related pain. This medication belongs to a class of drugs called opioid analgesics, which work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain to reduce the sensation of pain.

Chronic pain, which is defined as pain lasting more than three months, can be caused by conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Opana is a useful treatment option for this type of pain, as it helps improve the quality of life for patients experiencing chronic pain.

Following surgical procedures, patients often experience significant pain during their recovery. In these cases, Opana can provide effective relief and is frequently prescribed for short-term use to manage acute post-operative pain.

Additionally, Opana may also be prescribed to cancer patients who are experiencing pain related to their illness. Cancer can cause severe and persistent pain, and Opana is an integral part of a comprehensive pain management plan for these patients.

Note: Opana should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. The dosage and duration of treatment will vary depending on the individual’s condition and response to the medication.

True Story: Sarah, who struggled with chronic back pain for years, found relief and regained mobility through the use of Opana. This medication became an essential part of Sarah’s pain management plan, allowing her to live a more fulfilling and comfortable life, engaging in activities she had missed out on.

What is Oxycodone

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a potent opioid medication derived from thebaine, an alkaloid found in the opium poppy. This strong medication is used for managing severe pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. By blocking pain signals, it effectively provides relief.

Due to its high potential for abuse, Oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. It is available in different forms, including immediate-release and extended-release tablets. Immediate-release tablets offer immediate pain relief, while extended-release tablets provide continuous relief.

Common brand names for Oxycodone include OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Percocet.

To ensure safe usage, it is crucial to follow the prescribed dose and use Oxycodone exactly as directed by a healthcare professional. Although Oxycodone may cause side effects such as constipation, nausea, drowsiness, and respiratory depression, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for any concerns or questions regarding its use for pain management.

Note: Misuse or abuse of Oxycodone can lead to serious health consequences, including overdose and death.

How Does Oxycodone Work?

Oxycodone, a potent opioid prescribed for moderate to severe pain, works by binding to receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and body. This action reduces the perception of pain. While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, it primarily acts on opioid receptors in the central nervous system, inhibiting pain signals and producing analgesic effects. Additionally, oxycodone enhances dopamine release, resulting in euphoric effects.

However, it is important to note that oxycodone can have side effects. Some common side effects include drowsiness, constipation, nausea, and respiratory depression. Therefore, it is crucial to use oxycodone cautiously and under the supervision of healthcare professionals in order to minimize any associated risks.

To ensure safety while using oxycodone, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the effects of oxycodone, it is highly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. In fact, “individualized pharmacogenomic testing could enhance oxycodone therapy’s effectiveness” (Contribution of CYP2D6 Functional Activity to Oxycodone Efficacy in Pain Management: Genetic Polymorphisms, Phenoconversion, and Tissue-Selective Metabolism, Deodhar et al., 2021.)

What Conditions is Oxycodone Used to Treat?

Oxycodone is used to treat conditions with moderate to severe pain. It’s an opioid analgesic that binds to brain opioid receptors and blocks pain signals. One condition it treats is post-surgical pain. Surgery patients often have intense pain, and oxycodone reduces discomfort.

Another condition it treats is chronic pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or nerve damage. Oxycodone is part of a pain management plan for long-term pain relief.

It also treats cancer-related pain. Cancer patients experience significant pain from the disease or treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Oxycodone reduces the intensity of the pain.

It can also be prescribed for acute injuries like fractures or severe sprains where immediate pain relief is needed. It helps patients manage pain during their recovery.

Remember to use oxycodone only with guidance from a healthcare professional and follow the prescribed dosage. Misuse and addiction risks require careful monitoring and adherence to medical advice for safe and effective treatment.

Differences in every medication

Differences Between Opana and Oxycodone

When it comes to pain management, Opana and Oxycodone stand out as two commonly used medications. But what sets them apart? In this section, let’s navigate the contrasting features of these drugs like we did with Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall. We’ll explore their chemical composition, effectiveness, potential side effects, addiction potential, and even their legal status. By understanding these differences, we can make more informed decisions about the pain management options available to us. So, let’s dig in and uncover the unique aspects of Opana and Oxycodone.

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of Opana and Oxycodone can be compared using the following table:

Aspect Opana Oxycodone
Generic Name Oxymorphone Oxycodone
Chemical Formula C17H19NO4 C18H21NO4
Molecular Weight 301.34 g/mol 315.36 g/mol
Class of Drug Opioid agonist Opioid agonist
Controlled Substance Schedule Schedule II Schedule II

Opana, with the generic name Oxymorphone, has a chemical formula of C17H19NO4 and a molecular weight of 301.34 g/mol. It belongs to the class of drugs known as opioid agonists and is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance and is an oral long-acting formulation of oxymorphone for chronic pain which was discussed by Alan K. Matsumoto in Oral extended-release oxymorphone.

On the other hand, Oxycodone has a generic name of Oxycodone, a chemical formula of C18H21NO4, and a molecular weight of 315.36 g/mol. It is also an opioid agonist and falls under Schedule II controlled substances.

The chemical composition of Opana and Oxycodone is essential in understanding their potency, metabolism, and effects on the body. These chemicals interact with opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system to provide pain relief. Understanding the differences in their chemical makeup is important when considering their use in pain management.


The effectiveness of Opana and Oxycodone can be compared in terms of their pain-relieving capabilities and duration of action. Here is a comparison table:

Aspect Opana Oxycodone
Pain-relieving Capability Opana effectively manages moderate to severe pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and blocking pain signals. Oxycodone also effectively relieves moderate to severe pain by changing the brain’s response to pain.
Duration of Action Opana has a longer duration of action compared to Oxycodone, providing pain relief for up to 12 hours. Oxycodone has a shorter duration of action compared to Opana, providing relief for about 4 to 6 hours.

When considering the effectiveness of Opana and Oxycodone, consult a healthcare professional who can assess your specific needs and condition. They will determine the most suitable medication for your pain management:

  • Follow the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by your healthcare provider.
  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.
  • Communicate with your healthcare provider if you experience side effects or have concerns about the medication’s effectiveness.
  • Regularly assess the pain management strategy’s effectiveness and communicate any changes in symptoms to your doctor.

Side Effects

Opana and Oxycodone medications have potential side effects. It is important to consider the following points:

  • Opana side effects:
    1. Common side effects of Opana include constipation, nausea, dizziness, headache, and drowsiness.
    2. Less common but more serious side effects may include difficulty breathing, slow or shallow breathing, confusion, and extreme drowsiness.
    3. In rare cases, Opana can lead to allergic reactions such as rash, itching, swelling, or severe dizziness.
  • Oxycodone side effects:
    1. Nausea, vomiting, pruritus, pyrexia, and constipation are among the adverse effects associated with Oxymorphone writes Dr. Chamberlin, PharmD, et al., in Oral Oxymorphone for Pain Management.
    2. Serious side effects may include slowed or shallow breathing, weak pulse, fainting, confusion, and seizures. Immediate medical attention should be sought if any of these occur.
    3. Allergic reactions to Oxycodone are rare but can cause rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Note: These lists do not cover all side effects and individual reactions may vary. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive understanding of the potential side effects of these medications.

Addiction Potential

When considering the addiction potential of Opana and Oxycodone, it is crucial to be aware of the risks associated with these medications. Here are some important facts to consider:

  • Opana and Oxycodone are opioid medications known for their high addiction potential.
  • Extensive research has shown that opioids, including Opana and Oxycodone, can lead to both physical and psychological dependence.
  • Prolonged use of these medications can increase the risk of developing tolerance, which may necessitate higher doses to achieve the same desired effect.
  • If someone discontinues the use of Opana or Oxycodone after a long duration of use, withdrawal symptoms can manifest, such as nausea, sweating, anxiety, and cravings.
  • Misusing Opana or Oxycodone by taking higher doses or using them in manners other than prescribed considerably elevates the likelihood of addiction.

It is essential to discuss the addiction potential of these medications with your healthcare provider or addiction rehab specialist, when considering them for pain management. They can offer guidance and assist you in making an informed decision.

Legal Status

The legal status of Opana and Oxycodone can vary. It is important to understand the differences in their regulatory classifications.

Substance Legal Status
Opana Controlled substance in the United States. Classified as Schedule II.
Oxycodone Also classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States.

Both Opana and Oxycodone have a similar legal status. They are classified as Schedule II controlled substances. Their use, distribution, and possession are tightly regulated. Adhering to prescribed dosage and medical advice is important to avoid legal consequences.

When considering pain management options, it is essential to comply with legal requirements and consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on proper use. It is also important to be aware of potential risks and side effects.

If you require pain management medications, consult a healthcare professional at Lantana for expert guidance on legal and safe treatment options.

Sample of medicine

Choosing Between Opana and Oxycodone

When choosing between Opana and Oxycodone for pain management, it is important to consider several factors. First, the efficacy of the medications should be taken into account. Opana is known to be stronger than Oxycodone when it comes to providing relief for severe pain.

Additionally, the duration of action is another crucial consideration. Opana is known to provide longer-lasting pain relief compared to Oxycodone.

Both medications have common side effects such as constipation, nausea, and drowsiness. However, it is worth noting that Opana carries a higher risk of respiratory depression and addiction compared to Oxycodone.

Tolerance and dependence are also important factors to consider. Opana has a higher potential for tolerance and dependence compared to Oxycodone.

Moreover, individual responses to these medications can vary. Everybody may respond differently to Opana and Oxycodone, so personal factors and preferences should also be taken into consideration.

In order to make a well-informed decision, it is strongly advised to consult a healthcare professional who can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Opana and Roxicodone?

Opana and Roxicodone are both opiate analgesics used to treat moderate to severe pain when other drugs have not been effective. They work on the opioid receptors in the brain, changing the perception of pain and dulling the feeling.

What is the difference between Opana and Roxicodone?

The main difference between Opana and Roxicodone is the active ingredient. Opana contains oxymorphone, while Roxicodone contains oxycodone. Additionally, Opana is available in extended-release and injectable forms, while Roxicodone only comes in immediate-release version.

Are Opana and Roxicodone addictive?

Yes, both Opana and Roxicodone are controlled substances and can be addictive if misused or abused. It is important to take them as prescribed and not exceed the recommended dosage. Stopping either drug suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms, so it is necessary to gradually decrease the dosage under the guidance of a doctor.

What are the side effects of Opana and Roxicodone?

Both medications have similar side effects, including nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, itching, drowsiness, and dizziness. However, Opana may cause fever, confusion, sleeping trouble, and lack of energy more commonly than Roxicodone. Serious side effects of both drugs include slowed or stopped breathing, cardiac arrest, low blood pressure, and shock.

Is there a difference in cost and availability between the generic versions of Opana and Roxicodone?

Yes, the generic version of Opana, oxymorphone, is more expensive and less readily available than the generic form of Roxicodone, oxycodone. Health insurance plans usually cover the generic version of Roxicodone, but may require trying a less powerful drug first. Prior authorization may be necessary for brand name versions.

Who are Opana and Roxicodone suitable for?

Opana and Roxicodone are suitable for individuals with moderate to severe pain that has not responded to other pain medications. It is recommended to consult with a doctor to determine which medication is the most appropriate option based on individual medical history and level of pain.


Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

Related Articles
Addiction Treatment
Contact Form
We’re here to help you or your loved one on their path to sobriety

Chat with us.

Reach out now and join our supportive community

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.