Addiction A-Z

Numorphan

Numorphan is the brand name for an oxymorphone injection that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is also sometimes used before surgery to cause sedation and to reduce anxiety. As a narcotic pain reliever, Numorphan works by dulling the pain perception center in the brain.

Numorphan is related to morphine in much the same way oxycodone is to codeine. Numorphan is considered to be 6-8 times more potent than morphine.

Numorphan is a Schedule II opioid and is subject to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Like other opioid drugs, it can produce tolerance, psychological dependence and physical dependence, increasing its potential for being abused. Researchers estimate its potential for abuse to be the same as that for morphine.

Both legitimate users and abusers seek Numorphan due to its euphoric effects. Recent research has indicated Numorphan use is especially high among teenagers. The drug is often sought by street users of heroin and methadone for its ability to relieve abstinence symptoms from chronic opiate administration.

Withdrawal from Numorphan can be a traumatizing experience, both physically and emotionally. Symptoms of withdrawal can occur as soon as 6-8 hours after the most recent consumption of the drug. Withdrawal of this drug puts an immense amount of strain on the body, causing the individual severe pain and psychological distress in the process. Withdrawal symptoms can increase in intensity over the 72 hours following cessation.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with cessation of Numorphan can include, but are not limited to:

  • Restlessness
  • Lacrimation
  • Rhinorrhea
  • Perspiration
  • Mydriasis
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Severe Backaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coryza

Due to the intense pain and psychological distress that Numorphan cessation can cause, it is recommended by medical care professionals that users taper off the medication slowly and under the care of a board-certified physician and board-certified addiction psychiatrist.

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