While both are used in the medical field, they both have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Today, our Delaware drug rehab compares oxymorphone vs. hydromorphone to find out the differences and risks associated with their misuse.
Also known as Opana and Opana ER, oxymorphone is a prescription opioid that’s used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opana may also be used as a supplement to anesthesia during surgery and to alleviate anxiety caused by heart-related breathing problems.
Oxymorphone comes as an extended-release (long-acting) tablet that’s taken by mouth at least an hour before or two hours after meals and is usually taken every 4 to 6 hours. Extended-release opioids are usually only taken once or twice a day because their side effects are long-acting.
Opana is usually only prescribed to people who do not respond to other painkillers and are usually prescribed a small dose at the beginning, with a steady and slight increase in doses as time progresses.
Like other narcotic analgesics, oxymorphone attaches to opioid receptors in the central nervous system to alleviate pain. However, when taken in ways that it’s not supposed to be taken – such as chewing them or taking them with alcohol – medications like oxymorphone can produce intense euphoria and sedation.
Other common oxymorphone side effects include:
Changes in heart rate, weight loss, agitation, hallucinations, fever, and other adverse side effects may also occur when Opana is taken in ways it’s not meant to be taken.
Crushing your pills, snorting them, chewing them, and mixing them with alcohol all constitute drug abuse. Engaging in this kind of drug-taking behavior increases your risk of addiction and other long-term health problems.
Also referred to as Exalgo ER and Dilaudid, hydromorphone is also an opioid that’s prescribed for moderate to severe pain treatment. Hydromorphone extended-release tablets are prescribed to people with severe and chronic pain who need round-the-clock relief or cannot be treated with other medications.
This medication is not prescribed to people who need short-term pain relief or have never taken other opioids before. Hydromorphone may come as a liquid, a tablet, and an extended-release tablet. The liquid is usually taken every 3 to 6 hours and the tablets every 4 to 6 hours.
Like oxymorphone, people who take hydromorphone usually start with small doses that are slowly increased over time. This medication also works like oxymorphone in that it attaches to opioid receptors on nerve cells, blocking pain signals from the body.
However, hydromorphone can also produce a high when taken in high doses or mixed with other central nervous system depressants. Hydromorphone side effects may also include:
Although Opana and Dilaudid share some side effects, the drugs are slightly different, and these differences can impact the way they should be used and prescribed.
The difference between hydromorphone and oxycodone is that hydromorphone is stronger than oxymorphone, making it more potent and addictive. Some other differences between Opana and Dilaudid include:
What about their potency? Is Opana stronger than Dilaudid?
These slight differences are important when it comes to prescribing patients with the right medication. When comparing oxymorphone vs. hydromorphone, research suggests that hydromorphone is much stronger than oxymorphone, meaning that less of it is needed to alleviate symptoms.
Hydromorphone is also four times more potent than morphine, making it a more likely candidate for those searching for an alternative to other opioids, even illicit ones like heroin. Thus, those who abuse hydromorphone are at a higher risk of developing an addiction, overdosing, and dying from health complications associated with drug abuse.
Regardless of whether they’re prescribed or not, opioids are known for their high potential for abuse and addiction. The mass abuse of these drugs has contributed to a major opioid crisis, which has resulted in thousands of opioid-related overdoses and deaths.
If you’ve been directly impacted by opioid abuse, our Milford treatment center can help. Banyan Delaware offers various levels of substance abuse treatment, including drug-specific services like opioid addiction treatment.
From medical detox to physical and mental health therapy, specialists at our Milford rehab provide the round-the-clock care and services needed to get sober and stay sober. For more information about our Delaware addiction treatment, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763.