OPANA extended-release, is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic supplied in 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg tablet strengths for oral administration. The tablet strength describes the amount of oxymorphone hydrochloride per tablet. The tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: hypromellose, iron oxide black, methylparaben, propylene glycol, silicified microcrystalline cellulose, sodium stearyl fumarate, TIMERx® -N, titanium dioxide, and triacetin. The 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg tablets also contain macrogol, and polysorbate 80. In addition, the 5 mg tablets contain iron oxide red. The 10 mg tablets contain FD&C yellow No. 6. The 20 mg tablets contain FD&C blue No. 1, FD&C yellow No. 6, and D&C yellow No. 10. The 40 mg tablets contain FD&C yellow No. 6, D&C yellow No. 10, and lactose monohydrate.
Chemically, oxymorphone hydrochloride is 4, 5α -epoxy-3, 14-dihydroxy-17-methylmorphinan-6-one hydrochloride, a white or slightly off-white, odorless powder, which is sparingly soluble in alcohol and ether, but freely soluble in water. The molecular weight of oxymorphone hydrochloride is 337.80. The pKa1 and pKa2 of oxymorphone at 37°C are 8.17 and 9.54, respectively. The octanol/aqueous partition coefficient at 37°C and pH 7.4 is 0.98. The structural formula for oxymorphone hydrochloride is as follows: The tablet strengths, 5, 10, 20 and 40 mg, describe the amount of oxymorphone hydrochloride per tablet.
Oxymorphone is an opioid agonist whose principal therapeutic action is analgesia. Other members of the class known as opioid agonists include substances such as morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, codeine, hydrocodone, and tramadol. In addition to analgesia, other pharmacological effects of opioid agonists include anxiolysis, euphoria, feelings of relaxation, respiratory depression, constipation, miosis, and cough suppression. Like all pure opioid agonist analgesics, with increasing doses there is increasing analgesia, unlike with mixed agonist/antagonists or non-opioid analgesics, where there is a limit to the analgesic effect with increasing doses. With pure opioid agonist analgesics, there is no defined maximum dose; the ceiling to analgesic effectiveness is imposed only by side effects, the more serious of which may include somnolence and respiratory depression.
Central Nervous System
The precise mechanism of the analgesic action is unknown. However, specific CNS (central nervous system) opioid receptors for endogenous compounds with opioid-like activity have been identified throughout the brain and spinal cord and play a role in the analgesic effects of this drug. In addition, opioid receptors have also been identified within the PNS (peripheral nervous system). The role that these receptors play in these drugs’ analgesic effects is unknown.
Opioids produce respiratory depression likely by direct action on brain stem respiratory centers. The respiratory depression involves a reduction in the responsiveness of the brain stem respiratory centers to both increases in carbon dioxide tension and electrical stimulation. Opioids depress the cough reflex by direct effect on the cough center in the medulla oblongata. Antitussive effects may occur with doses lower than those usually required for analgesia. Opioids cause miosis, even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic (e.g., pontine lesions of hemorrhagic or ischemic origin may produce similar findings).
Gastrointestinal Tract and Other Smooth Muscle
Opioids cause a reduction in motility associated with an increase in smooth muscle tone in the antrum of the stomach and duodenum. Digestion of food in the small intestine is delayed and propulsive contractions are decreased. Propulsive peristaltic waves in the colon are decreased, while tone may be increased to the point of spasm resulting in constipation. Other opioid-induced effects may include a reduction in gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions, spasm of sphincter of Oddi, and transient elevations in serum amylase.
Opioids produce peripheral vasodilation which may result in orthostatic hypotension. Release of histamine can occur and may contribute to opioid-induced hypotension. Manifestations of histamine release may include orthostatic hypotension, pruritus, flushing, red eyes, and sweating. Animal studies have shown that oxymorphone has a lower propensity to cause histamine release than other opioids.
Opioids have been shown to have a variety of effects on the secretion of hormones. Opioids inhibit the secretion of ACTH, cortisol, and luteinizing hormone (LH) in humans. They also stimulate prolactin, growth hormone (GH) secretion, and pancreatic secretion of insulin and glucagon in humans and other species, rats and dogs. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) has been shown to be both inhibited and stimulated by opioids.
Opioids have been shown to have a variety of effects on components of the immune system in in vitro and animal models. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown