FDA Pulling Pain Medication Opana ER from Market, Is This the Beginning of the End for Chronic Pain Sufferers?

FDA Pulling Pain Medication Opana ER from Market, Is This the Beginning of the End for Chronic Pain Sufferers?

By Staff.

And here comes the FDA!!!!!  In a first-of-its kind, the FDA has removed a previously approved opioid medication – Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride) – from the market because “the benefits of the drug may no longer outweigh its risks.”

“We are facing an opioid epidemic – a public health crisis, and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of opioid misuse and abuse,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.”

First it was CDC’s pressure on doctors and stigmatizing patients that led to tight restrictions and decreased availability of opioids for those who take them legally and with necessity to manage pain. And now, it’s the regulatory arm of government swinging to the fences.

The agency said that data showed a “significant shift in the route of abuse from nasal to injection following the product’s reformulation.” The agency added that “injection abuse of reformulated Opana ER has been associated with a serious outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C, as well as cases of a serious blood disorder (thrombotic microangiopathy).”

So, the FDA has pulled a pain medication from the hands of those who had been legally prescribed the medication because it is associated with outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C due to addicts sharing needles.  Perhaps a better course of action would be to focus on the problem of sharing needles.  Certainly, pulling Opana ER from the market will result in addicts turning to other sources of a high, while the individuals who used the medication legally and responsibly have to suffer or try to find alternative ways to manage their pain.

The FDA’s decision follows a March 2017 FDA advisory committee meeting where a group of independent experts voted 18-8 that the benefits of reformulated Opana ER no longer outweigh its risks.

According to an FDA press release, “Opana ER was first approved in 2006 for the management of moderate-to-severe pain when a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period of time. In 2012, Endo Pharmaceuticals replaced the original formulation of Opana ER with a new formulation intended to make the drug resistant to physical and chemical manipulation for abuse by snorting or injecting. While the product met the regulatory standards for approval, the FDA determined that the data did not show that the reformulation could be expected to meaningfully reduce abuse and declined the company’s request to include labeling describing potentially abuse-deterrent properties for Opana ER (emphasis added). Now, with more information about the risks of the reformulated product, the agency is taking steps to remove the reformulated Opana ER from the market.”

“The abuse and manipulation of reformulated Opana ER by injection has resulted in a serious disease outbreak. When we determined that the product had dangerous unintended consequences, we made a decision to request its withdrawal from the market,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This action will protect the public from further potential for misuse and abuse of this product.”

More from the FDA press release:

The FDA has requested that the company voluntarily remove reformulated Opana ER from the market. Should the company choose not to remove the product, the agency intends to take steps to formally require its removal by withdrawing approval. In the interim, the FDA is making health care professionals and others aware of the particularly serious risks associated with the abuse of this product.

The FDA will continue to examine the risk-benefit profile of all approved opioid analgesic products and take further actions as appropriate as a part of our response to this public health crisis.”

Chronic pain sufferers and healthcare providers should take notice of this last statement.

Shares of Endo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENDP) have plummeted 16% as of this writing.

In a press release, the company had this to say:

Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP) is aware of today’s announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting that Endo voluntarily withdraw OPANA® ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride extended release) from the market. Endo is reviewing the request and is evaluating the full range of potential options as we determine the appropriate path forward.

While the benefits of opioids in treating and managing pain are widely recognized, the misuse and abuse of these products have increased greatly in the U.S. As a pharmaceutical company with a demonstrated commitment to the improvement of pain management, Endo feels a strong sense of responsibility to improve the care of pain for patients while at the same time taking comprehensive steps to minimize the potential misuse of its products.

Despite the FDA’s request to withdraw OPANA® ER from the market, this request does not indicate uncertainty with the product’s safety or efficacy when taken as prescribed. Endo remains confident in the body of evidence established through clinical research demonstrating that OPANA® ER has a favorable risk-benefit profile when used as intended in appropriate patients.

FDA Drug Safety Risk Management and Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committees Meeting Outcome

On March 13 and 14, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Drug Safety Risk Management and Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committees were convened to discuss pre- and post-marketing data about the abuse of OPANA® ER, the product’s overall risk-benefit profile, as well as the abuse of generic oxymorphone ER and oxymorphone immediate-release (IR) products. 

While the Advisory Committee members voted 18 to eight, with one abstention, that the benefits of reformulated OPANA® ER no longer outweigh its risks, more than half expressed their preference that OPANA® ER remain on the market, but with additional regulatory restrictions to mitigate the risks of misuse and abuse.  

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The blood disorder they’re referring to is a rare disease (sorry at the moment I can’t think of it) but those of us who took the med orally are NOT going to get it! It’s from using needles and injecting the anti-abuse agent that’s in Opana Er.

Also, those of you now getting generic Oxymorphone, don’t assume your insurance will continue to pay for it come 2018! Mine isn’t going to. I have gone through HELL since September 1st and the removal of Opana ER. I was on 30mgs 2xday for over 8yrs and the instant release for breakthrough pain. My pain management (not the same doc who eventually figured out Opana was perfect for me – metabolized differently by the body) has had to change me twice in 6 weeks. I have spent the past 2 weeks in horrible withdrawals! Not being believed that I was having symptoms (been going to this doc over a year without issue). I think because I was dropped so much in just 6 weeks and I have been on Opioids for years my body reacted. Make sure you all have plans for changes and what you and doc will agree upon BEFORE it happens!! I am now on my 3rd change but this time she finally put my dose back up.
Apparently they have to address for cross intolerance when changing meds (not from brand name to generic) so your dose may get dropped to avoid overdose. They do it to save their own ass but as in my case it was the opposite of ODing. I had way too low a dose in my system. Wasn’t believed that I was in withdrawal – she claimed she didn’t drop me enough to cause withdrawal. I SUFFERED for 2wks before a change! Don’t let this happen to any of you! Have a plan!!
Opana was a Godsend for so many yet because of the irresponsibility of others we have to face the consequences of it being pulled!

I just finished listening to Trump speak about opioid addiction and that they are pulling an opioid of the market. Don’t know if speaking of Opana ER or another one. I have taken the same dosage of oxy for years. Am I still in pain, yes, but it’s bearable. Without the care of my Pain Specialist all these years I would have given up. Just like others who have written here I have blood work taken w/o notice to check my levels. My prescription has no refills and new SCRIPTS have strict dates so I can never have more than exactly prescribed.
It gets me so angry that people & Dr’s with no thought to their health put people in REAL & TRUE PAIN in a path of suffering.
Why do we never hear about us in all these speeches & declarations? As usual the people causing trouble get the attention. We need a Dr, a politician & an expert on drug addiction who can speak for US!
If we are going to reputable physicians with background in pain management and are not being written massive doses of pain meds, have regular blood tests than we should be free to follow our Dr’s care plan w/o interference from government.

This is perhaps the most idiotic attempt to deal with drug abuse & misuse that I have ever encountered. This is like blaming a particular brand of alcohol for alcoholism, or blaming a certain type of revolver for suicides, or blaming a particular brand of tanning bed for skin cancer….. IT IS LUDICROUS! Addicts who inject drugs will inject anything that they think they can get that feeling from. The act of Shooting the drug is just as much of an addiction as the drug itself. Just as those who snort their drugs….. snorting is an addiction in and of itself. Making those who are completely innocent and are in dire need of this medication will be the ones who truly suffer. The shooters will continue to shoot whatever drugs they can get, and they will continue to share needles, and they will continue to use dirty needles, and taking Opana off the market will NOT have any positive results! For those who shoot the drugs, they will resort to other drugs, possibly those that are far more dangerous, and for those that really need Opana, their quality of life will diminish drastically. Many will take their own lives as they have lost the only medication that made their lives and pain tolerable. But the ADDICTS, THE SHOOTERS, THE SNORTERS, WILL CONTINUE TO DIE FROM DISEASES CONTRACTED FROM SHARING & USING DIRTY NEEDLES, FROM OVERDOSING, FROM MAN MADE DRUGS LIKE HEROIN, BECAUSE THOSE OF YOU WHO MAKE THE LAWS, THE RULES, THE DEMANDS, EVALUATE THE STATISTICS, WEIGH THE BENEFITS VS RISKS, DON’T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO ATTACK THE REAL ISSUES, SO YOU ATTACK THE DRUG & THE COMPANIES, AND THE PATIENTS WHO RELY ON THESE MEDICATIONS TO HAVE A HALFWAY NORMAL QUALITY OF LIFE!

I was informed today by my pharmacist that this is probably my last Rx for Oxymorphone ER 20 mg (generic). This is such a weak argument as this medication being the root cause of an HIV outbreak ? Like blaming a small block V8 engine for car accidents, and discontinuing production. I have RRMS for 25+ years and L5S1 disc herniation and I thank God I have a neurologist that is not “afraid” to treat my pain properly and effectively. It took us 2 years to find an effective regimen now back to the drawing board. This is just the start folks, all opiates will be targeted and removed from the market, and those of us in pain will be the victims. In NY they made it more difficult to get these medications, and thought the problem would disappear, instead of causing a spike in heroin abuse, any idiot knows this.

Hello everyone, Megan here (obviously.) :] I am 33 and had 2 back surgeries before I was 30 due to excessive softball I played, and a fall at my boyfriends fraternity house when I was in college (ECU, go Pirates! 💜☠️💛.) My first surgery was a laminectomy, and although successful, did not manage all of my “issues.” My second surgery was implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. I’ve read quite a few of the comments, and did not see this mentioned. I will eventually have to have a fusion, but my surgeon does not feel comfortable at this time because of my age, and how many levels will have to be fused. Anyone who does not know what a SCS does, I urge you to research. I know for a lot of you that would mean another surgery, but in my experience it’s been worth it 10x over! It does not “fix” anything persay, but it does “trick” pain receptors from reaching your brain. I’ve read that some people do not like the sensation accompanied by the stimulator, (think TENS unit inside your body) but honestly I enjoy it, because it does feel like a TENS. You charge it via a wireless charging wand, and can have the settings adjusted quick and easy by your representative. For example St. Jude is the manufacturer of my SCS. There is also a unit by Boston scientific, as I’m sure others. As of the beginning of this year, settings without the sensation were approved, and I go to have that programmed next week. If anyone is interested, you can email me at princessp0823@gmail.com and I will update you after I have that done, or answer any questions you may have. I also had issues with finding a medication that worked, and I currently take Nucynta ER 200mg along with Norco 10/325 tid for breakthrough pain. This combination has worked amazing for me. I will say though, without insurance, it would be VERY expensive. They do offer coupon cards which brings my $80 copay (with ins) down to $30. As I said, I’ll be happy to answer any questions anyone may have. People who don’t live with chronic pain, have no idea the lives we lead. How sometimes getting out of bed is a miracle, and if I could possibly help someone with information, I’d do it all day long. Stay vigilant pain warriors, do not let them take away our voice. xo

Opana ER is still on the shelves as of yesterday. I’m not sure if the pharmacy ordered a bunch or what. I went from the generic to the name brand because believe it or not that’s the way my insurance covered it. They dropped the generic as an option and now no more Opana when it’s gone. I’ve had pain for 22 years and Opana and 1 or 2 Vicodin a day was perfect. Now for the 1st time I’ve been referred to pain mgmt. Just because my doctor was scared into it. I saw him every 3 months and I never did a drug test. He trusts me. The drug testing and high cost of seeing a “specialist” is a way for them all to make money. All because of the bogus “Opioid Addiction Crisis.” Just follow the money. Probably most of us never intended to be dependent on relieving our pain everyday and none of us sought opioids in particular. Now that millions of us are it almost seems like a plan. Give us something non-opioid that works then. It’s that or nothing? It’s pain mgmt & testing & injections or nothing? It’s a huge part of this war on drugs. Pain patients need to demand to not discriminated against & extorted. These lawmakers don’t have a clue. We have the worst president (brother died from drugs/alcohol), AG (law & order total freak) & Governor (spent millions to have 3 or 4 people research the cause) to have regarding this issue. I write to all politicians all the time and remind them elections have consequences. I’d even consider voting Dem if there’s one that cares about ALL of us. Take care and take action!!!

I was taken apana 30 and my insurance company stopped paying for it so now I take oxymorphone 30 mg extended-release… I am so glad they are not taking it away from us. it’s the only medicine that has worked for me. I have back and other issues and if it was not for oxymorphone Idk what id do. I am a little confused because I have been reading that it’s different than opana
ER but my bottle has “oxymorphone…generic for opana.”
If someone could reply back and kindly explained the difference that would be great!!! bless you all!

Beth you hit the nail on the head with everything you said it is all about the junkies in Indiana I live in Ohio it was on the news here when it first happened I said then I bet they take my medication off the shelves because some ignorant drug addicts decided to use dirty needles inject this pill how on God green earth could even think or imagine someone doing is beyond me but I knew right then they were going to probably take it away from legitimate people such as everyone of us in pain who do get urine pill counts lock our medication up we pay for there wrong choices of course I feel horrible for there family’s but again they made that choice. I’m thankful to still have my medication that like every one else gives us some quality of life is my pain gone no is it enough to bear to still work yes spend time with my grandkids yes without it NO I could not !! Chuck Hematoma yes I also got on in the back of my neck extremely painful from an injection my doctor however is doing nothing about mine it is painful apparently I need to see another doctor about this because it has been 4 months now still there I deal with the pain in my neck and shoulders from it I did not realize it would take a surgery to go away. So another surgery along with my cancer has returned just keeps getting better (NOT) !! i am glad I did come back on to read a few more comments however. I have learned a lot such as the FDA recording and writing I have been likewise writing Congress Whitehouse everyone I can about this also as far as rare blood disease again I don’t think so like you said we all would be getting tested for it ! Its all about the Indiana incident we all should know this I have for a very long time. !

By taking painkillers away you are just going to drive people to do the one thing you do not want them to do and the one thing u cannot control.. HEROIN.. SO GO AHEAD THINK YOUR DOING THE WORLD A FAVOR.. YOUR NOT!

Hi Vickie
First of all, I’m so sorry that you had someone hit you and cause so much pain and problems. I don’t know how you did all of those surgeries and all that went along with them, and still work. You’re a fighter ❤

Opana ER is oxymorphone. When I was on it, I was given the generic versions quite often. Sometimes my script included differently sized pills…simply because that is what they had on hand to fill it. My insurance would always prefer the generic versions from the name brand, because of cost.
Some people say they can tell a difference between the name brand and the generics…but I’ve taken both and honestly never noticed any difference.

Try looking online, compare the two. You’ll find different opinions….but the medication is essentially, if not entirely, the same.

I hope it goes well for you 🙂

There’s always hope. Write your representatives, call them….do anything you can think of. You can write the commission that President Trump created as well. I’ve been writing to President Trump almost every single day since this was announced back in early June. I’ve written to attorney generals in other states that have enacted ridiculous laws and are suing the pharmaceutical companies. I’ve received responses from the White House, the commission and the attorney general of Missouri. Just do what you can.

We can’t sit idly by and watch them take away what helps us to simply exist…because you’re spot on…we aren’t the people who have caused this problem and going after the legitimate prescriptions, isn’t going to have any implications on the addicts. They’re always going to find something else to abuse….we, sadly, don’t have that option.

Hang in there, we have to fight them. We have no choice.

I went to my normal pain management clinic visit 2 weeks ago and was shocked to hear that Opana ER will no longer be available. My pain dr tests my urine and does a pill count each visit to ensure his patients are taking their prescribed doses and not abusing or selling their meds. I have no issue with any of that because it does not affect me. I need the medication and take the med as prescribed. Now I will be getting Oxymorphone ER as a replacement. Ok, if it works the same then no problem. Now today I hear that the FDA has been asked to possibly ban some more painkillers. They have 180 days to respond to a request by a group of family members who have lost people to drug abuse. It is a citizen petition. I am sorry people have abused and died from drug overdoses. That, though, is not my problem. I am responsible with my medications. I do not leave them lying around the house where anyone can get their hands on them. I did not ask for a person to almost kill me in a vehicle accident 11 years ago that broke me into pieces. I did not ask for part of my body to be put back together with titanium rods and multiple screws. I did not ask for the 9 surgeries it took to try and help me walk again. I was in my 30’s when this happened. I do remember thinking life expectancy is 75 years old or older and I did not know how I would possibly live that long in pain. So now I will wait 6 more months to see if the Government is going to monkey with MY pain control again and decide if I am worthy for continued pain medications. I am a productive citizen in society, I work full time, pay my taxes and do not rely on any assistance. Opana ER did NOT make me sleepy or fuzzy and allowed me to function as a normal adult with a decent quality of life. There are things I have had to give up due to the amount of pain that I still live with daily. Opana ER did not get rid of all of the pain but made the pain level low enough to live with it. I went to the pharmacy in late August to fill my RX and actually got Opana ER for the last time. I guess when I refill later this month it will be Oxymorphone instead. Does anyone know if the Oxymorphone ER is going to affect me differently? Is this going to make me sleepy? I need to be clear headed to work. The DR said it won’t be any different. But reading comments where Opana worked better for them than Oxymorphone really worries me. I do hate that people decided to abuse drugs. I hate that parents are grieving over their child’s death from a drug… Read more »

It’s just the name brand
opana er made by endo pharmacy…they didn’t get banned the FDA and CDC asked Endo pharmacy to pull all opana er of the self and Endo pharmacy complied because if the FDA would have banned them then Endo would have lost their Patton that the fought for in court and won but Oxymorphone ir & ER will still be available..I don’t know how makes the IR but global pharmacy makes the ER but I was told that those 2 types will remain on the self….I figure Endo will go back to the old formula because I think they have figured out that people are going to abuse these meds no matter what it is or how it is made….I know this this has shook up the PM world and people are scared and I am one of them

From what I’ve heard, only the extended release version was willingly withdrawn (plans in place for this now) by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Some are saying that the immediate release is still available. I’m not trying to be “debbie downer” but I sincerely hope that anyone calling the FDA for information…..some of which has been shared here (much appreciated) is recording their calls with whomever they’re speaking with from the FDA. I find it a little bit curious that they’re claiming the ER version was in their sites, so to speak, because the deterrent factor is causing some blood problem or whatever. That wasn’t mentioned in anything I’ve read about this drug, since they announced their intentions to remove its availability. What was initially stated in early June was this: “The FDA said it made its latest decision based on a review of all post-market data, which suggested that when the company reformulated the medication, people were injecting it more than they were snorting it. This method of delivery also caused a serious outbreak of hepatitis C and a serious blood disorder, according to the agency.” The FDA denied Endo Pharmaceutical’s request to to include a label that would describe its reformulation as having abuse-deterrent properties. They did this because they thought it would fuel the people choosing to abuse drugs, to find a work-around. I think it’s important to consider….how long have we all taken this medication, in the prescribed manner, WITHOUT this “mysterious”….”serious blood disorder” ….EVER happening to any of us….and we’re a very, very, small representation of the people who have been on this medication. Every single time I have had a surgery, outpatient or involving a hospital stay, encountered a new doctor….not once did they even know what Opana ER was. They didn’t have it in stock at the hospitals…I had to have my husband bring my bottle from home. Ask yourselves, if it was indeed causing this “serious blood disorder”…..wouldn’t we have heard about it? Would they not have intervened earlier than they did to “protect the population” from this problem? If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck…..it’s probably, a freaking duck. The fact is, this so called serious blood disorder, was NEVER mentioned prior to the incident that took place in Indiana. THAT is what caused them to go after this drug. And yes….people died and people became infected with HIV and Hep C from sharing dirty needles. Then those two diseases spread because of other and likely, similar, unsafe….careless, reckless and intentional, activities. I wouldn’t bank on anything that anyone has been told about the off label formulations of oxymorphone, by the FDA. They cannot be trusted. Since 2010, they have approved at least 7 different opioid drugs with a deterrent factor. The reason…and the ONLY reason for this particular version being attacked, stems from the idiots in Indiana. They had to appease the families of the people who died and the people who were infected…and guess who’s going to foot that… Read more »

Is the immediate release being pulled as well or just the ER?

I take Oxymorphone er and I called the FDA and they are not taken it off the self… Oxymorphone er isn’t even a generic it is a totally different pill because of the way it is made…there is no generic for Opana er that is why your Dr has to write it out for Oxymorphone er what ever mg but I talked to the FDA pharmacy department and they said Oxymorphone er and Oxymorphone it will remain on the self….the pills the FDA is looking at is the pills with the tamper proof stuff in it because it is causing a blood disorder or dieses call something that starts with a T and is a mile long…..I went to my PM Dr and got my meds like I do every month…my Dr is very strict and I have to follow those guide lines or I’m out the door….they urine test me every month and it’s not no stick test and the blood test me 2x a year at random I don’t know when they will do it but I know they will plus they do a pill count on me…they can call me at anytime and I have 2 hours to get to their office for a drug test and pill count and I pass everytime and I see it getting alot strickter….I hate to say it but I am starting to think that they will put an end PM and I don’t know what I will do and frankly I’m scared because I can not deal with all the pain…I can’t hardly walk as it is and they want to do 2 more surgery’s on me so that would make 7 in all …6 on my low back 1 on my neck…what are we to do…I feel that it’s not our fault that someone is sticking needles in their arms…legs..were ever they can and we are going pay for it they are addicts so when they can’t get the pills they will go and get herion well Im not a drag addict and I will be screwed because I’m not be doing no illegal drugs.. period

I will email you right now Chuck 🙂

Can you provide the name of the alternate medication that worked for you? I have an appointment today and would like to see if my doctor has heard of it. Please email me if you don’t want to post here. chuck@the-mcclellans.us

Thanks for the help,

Hello all, I have been taking Opana ER 20 mg for over 3 years now. I have had 5 spinal surgeries since 2003 due to being rear ended in a vehicle in 2003, rear ended again in 2004, rear ended again in 2005. I also had to have a revision surgery in 2009 and then had to have a hematoma removed in 2010 due to a failed epidural injection at a pain clinic. I have a titanium plate and 4 screws in my cervical spine c5-c6. I had a discectomy of L4 and then had two lumbar fusions because the first one failed between L4 – Sacrum and a metal cage installed up front to hold it all in place. Last but not least I was split back open to remove the hematoma during the botched epidural. Current MRI’s show that I have narrowing of the thecal sac of my spine from top to bottom and at some point I will require more operations, but I am trying to avoid them for as long as possible. I take my medications 20 mg Opana ER twice a day as prescribed and I use 10/325 Percocet three times daily to fill in for the breakthrough pain. For most people this combo would knock someone out, but for me it allows me to function normally everyday. I am a elevator mechanic. I spend time with my wife, kids and grandkids all the time and I am able to get up, move around and exercise every day. The only reason for me being able to do these things is because of the medications that I am prescribed by the pain clinic that I go to. I have to go every two months and take constant urine screens to make sure that I am not abusing my medications and I pay a lot of money out of pocket to do so. The flip side of that is, I can function as a normal human being without a lot of restrictions. Everyday my pain level remains at a 5 with my medicines, but without those medications my pain level increases to a 9, sometimes a 10. I have tried pretty much every combination of medications in the past to help, but none were successful except for Opana/Precocet combo. I have taken Dilaudid, Oxycontin and Morphine. Most of these were two strong and knocked me out. I tried Kadian and I was allergic and my ankles and knees swelled up so bad I couldn’t walk. I tried the pain patches, I tried cymbalta and the other non narcotic and it was inaffective. I refuse to have a pain pump installed inside my body. The risk are way to high. I guess what I am getting at is this. It took me a few years of trying multiple combinations of medications to find something that worked for me. Even the regular Opana fast acting non ER version did not work the same. Now that I am finally stable… Read more »

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. We were out of town. Yes, my new doctor left me on the meds I had been on and we are going to work over the next few appointments to try and find a med or combination that works. He was a very professional doctor and very thorough and thoughtful. He listened to my concerns and understands how hard this is for chronic pain sufferers who take meds as prescribed and pass drug tests, etc. such a shame for us to have to suffer unnecessarily. I do think this doctor will work to try and find me the best solution. I want to be positive and give it a shot, but past history for the years I did take other meds was no good. Good luck to you. I hope you have a doctor who understands and will try their best to help you.

I’ve asked for specific pain medications by name, several times in the two decades I’ve unfortunately had to take them.
I believe that it has a great deal to do with your relationship and time, that you’ve had your doctor. I’ve had the same physician for over half of my life, I’ve always been straight with her and she has afforded me the same courtesy. My pain management doctor, I have a great relationship with as well. I also, like many of you, have a contract with his clinic.
I have way too many allergies to medications to simply remain silent and take whatever might be thrown my way. But I also have a different relationship with both of my primary physicians tham maybe most people.
When I have to go to the ER, I always text one of them or call them at home before I go. That way, not only am I treated like a human and not some junkie, I don’t end up waiting for hours, to be seen.
I am very lucky to have the physicians that I do and the relationship with them, that we have. I know that isn’t the “norm”….but I’m grateful that it is my normal.

There isn’t a generic form of Nucynta, but when I was on it…there were always coupons available on their website that my pharmacy would use. It is expensive….I was always thankful once my insurance was maxed and I didn’t have to pay for that any longer.

Hello Everyone,
I’ve been on Nucynta for a week now and pleased to say it does help. Other than a little constipation it did help relieve my pain. I have 4 crushed vertebrae(burst fractures) that occurred while serving in the military, so I deal with pain every day. I won’t bore you all with my history. I’ve been on Oxymorphone for several years and still can’t believe the FDA is stopping production. The one issue with Nucynta is they don’t offer generic. It’s very expensive if you don’t have insurance.

Has anyone else had luck at finding a good replacement for Opana?

Person who asks for drug by name my screw him or herself. Be careful
People that ask for Oxycodone get Prescription strength Ibuprofen.

I have taken Nucynta in the past, for about 4 years. It worked relatively well until my doctor increased the dosage. I started to have severe itching and that was when I was switched to Opana ER. Opana ER worked very well for me, for years. When they announced their intention to remove it initially, I spoke with my doctor and we switched to Embeda. I took Embeda for two months and I was miserable. It didn’t begin to touch my pain levels. So a month ago we switched again, to Oxycontin.
I wouldn’t say that Nucynta is anything like Oxycontin. They’re both powerful pain relievers but Nucynta is not a pure opiate pain formulation.
I really hope that Oxycontin is not the next one they’re going to go after. I’ve finally found something that actually works better for me than even the Opana ER did.
I also wouldn’t bank on their saying they’re not going to pull the generic versions of oxymorphone. They went after Opana because of some foolish people who intentionally cooked the deterrent away, the generic versions have no deterrent factors.
Honestly I still don’t believe that they’re going to stop until they’ve taken every option away. They have yet to connect the dots and realize that it’s not these pharmaceutical grade drugs that are killing people. Even fentanyl has gotten an unfair rap due to the street version of it and the intentional mis-reporting of making a distinction between the two types. So now, everyone who never had even heard of fentanyl…automatically assumes it’s going to kill you.
Their guideline statistics from 2015 (the CDC) have been proven to be inaccurate by so many different, reputable sources…and yet, they continue to scare states into enacting ridiculous laws…that only accomplish the further punishment of the chronic and intractable pain population.

Ok everyone that was on opana er just have your Dr switch you to
Oxymorphone er _ mg but your Dr has to write it for
Oxymorphone er thanks for sharing I am glad to because pain is no joke and I have suffered for 30+ years I think we all can take a big breath of relief….I have been praying every morning & night that good would take care of us all Amen

I can’t take Nucynta either it’s basically oxycotin under a different name…i have dealed with chronic pain for 30+ years with 7 back surgery’s and the want to fuse 2 more levels in my lower back and fuse 2 levels in my neck but the only way Oxycodone will help me because I have took so much of that medicine I would have to take 6 30mg ir 1 every 4 hours even though my Oxymorphone is no where near as strong as 6 Roxy 30s it’s a total different medication so my body reacts to it different that is why people like me that has had to deal with pain for so long that 95% of the meds want help that’s why the ones like me are so Afraid of this opaner being banned but I take Oxymorphone er made by global pharmacy but when I talked to the FDA they said the oxycotin with the op on them are next to be pulled…I think they have finally figured out that people are going to abuse these drugs no matter what tamper proof or none tamper proof they will find a way to manipulate the meds…I think that people like me and 100% of all the people on this post should not be made to suffer because of 129 addicts because that is all the CDC interviewed and said they shot up opana along with oxycotin..there was 169 out breaks of HIV & Hip C and they had that blood disorder or what ever it is but the CDC went on 129 people ..129 People is why the CDC and the FDA asked Endo pharma to pull opana er off the shelfs so basically 129 people in southern Indiana and a few cases in East TN is the reason we have to suffer which sucks imo

Tammy Gregory Connie and everyone YES YES YES THANK GOD there leaving the oxymorphone that’s what I have been on for year’s also. I’m so relieved to know my pain will still be managed with my medication the only medication I have been one from my one and only pain doctor for 6 year’s mine does do urine test as all should. He does not over prescribe. Agree why should we suffer for what these addicts do it doesn’t seem right makes me angry find a way to control the pill so it does not get sold abused whatever. Leave this one alone I pray they continue to leave it and not take it off the market next. There has to be a better way to control it rather than take them off the market for us who it works so well for I continue to work because of this medication without it I couldn’t get out of bed so happy there leaving it.

I took Nucynta for two weeks but it gave me the SSRI headache. In some people it increases the intracranial pressure much like Cymbalta. It is good pain medication but I could not take it.

Gregory Connie
How did it go at the Dr appointment did they just switch you over to Oxymorphone er I’m sorry to ask I’m just interested in what they did…I’m sorry to ask but I would like to no what they did I have to go to my PM Dr this week and I hoping they just leave me on the meds I been taking for 6+ years it’s the only med that I can take that takes pain away with no side effects when I take my meds all I can tell is pain is going and I can walk….if you don’t want to discuss it I understand thx Tommy

I want to thank you for replying to me. I finally have an appointment on Monday with a pain management doctor. It seems to me that I initially took 5 mg oxymorphone as a booster when needed when I first started taking Opana ER. At that time I was on 20 mg ER. I didn’t find them effective, but I never took a larger dose of oxymorphone alone. I am grateful to you for taking the time to write me. I have seen several comments from others suggesting the same thing. I am certainly hoping and praying it works. I have only been in pain for nine years. I feel so bad that you have been dealing with this chronic pain situation for thirty years!! I am in total agreement with you regarding the feeling that those of us who have been suffering with chronic pain for years are being punished in large part due to individuals who choose to abuse the Opana ER by shooting up or misusing it in other ways. It took several years and much pain and suffering before my doctors tried me on Opana ER. I love the fact that it helped my pain tremendously and I was able to function so much better in my daily life. Two other awesome things happened as a result of being on the OpanaER. I have never had any side effects or feelings of euphoria or dizziness or sleepiness (I did not want to be out of it, and I wanted to be out of constant pain and aware and able to function and try to live my life), and from testing they know Opana ER doesn’t adversely effect your liver and kidneys as much as other meds do. I thank you again and will ask the doctor on Monday if we can try the oxymorphone. Wishing you continued good results and to be as pain free as you possibly can be. I do wish we would hear more in the media regarding what can be done to keep chronic pain sufferers who do not abuse taking their meds, regularly see their doctor, and are drug tested to prove they are taking the meds as prescribed. I hope this alternative medicine helps to relieve your chronic pain while we are waiting for a solution for people who really need it, and that Enyo quickly comes up with a tamper-resistant replacement for Opana ER QUICKLY. Thanks again.

Connie just have your Dr put you on Oxymorphone 30mg er made by global pharmacy because even though it is Oxymorphone 30mg er it is a totally different formula than Opana er so it is a entirely different pill even though it’s basically the same thing but it’s not they are made by global pharmacy and they are not pulling them off the shelf that is what the FDA told me because I was just like you worried to death because of Chronic pain and this medication is the only thing that works after having to deal with pain for 30 years….I too was so afraid because with out the meds I cant hardly walk and quality of life will be gone….I take my meds as percribed and why should we be punished for something we didn’t do…..imo it sucks that we have to pay for some that is sticking needles in their arm and doing what they are doing I hope everyone is able to stay on their meds because Chronic pain is no joke and 30 years is a long time to suffer

I am in extreme pain from 3 spinal cord injuries along with Arthritis and fibromyalgia and MS. I am suffering and in so much pain.I have to take a drug test to prove I’m not abusing Opana er, I don’t think it’s fair to take the drug away for the people that need it and aren’t abusing it and need it!

There is no need for me to go into all the details of my pain problems as everyone on here has chronic pain. I have never met anyone who had even heard of Opana, so it is nice to know that there are people besides myself who actually take this medication. I was in terrible pain and for the first 3 and 1/2 years unable to find any relief from the various medications they put me on. Then about six years ago my new pain management doctor tried me on Oxymorphone, and eventually we found Opana ER30 mg. worked for me. I was thrilled to be able to function again, and not be involuntarily shouting out in pain every time I moved. I have never had any side effects, no feelings of euphoria, and could finally sleep at night. I have been on Opana ER 30 mg. for over six years and have never asked for, or felt the need for, an increase in dosage, I have never failed a drug test, and I have never missed an appointment. The fact is Opana ER Works for me. I was devastated when my doctor told me the FDA was taking Opana ER off the market. I sat in his office crying for a good half hour as I remembered the pain and what I went through to finally find a medicine that works for me. I am devastated that those of us who do not abuse our medicine are being treated as if you are a drug addict. What about all of us who have chronic pain and have already tried so many alternatives that do not work? I just moved out of state a few weeks ago and am being treated like a criminal when I call doctors offices just trying to get an appointment when you say you are on pain meds. You don’t even have to say what brand. I am not kidding when I say I spent two days trying to find someone to take me on as a patient. My appointment is Monday, and it is also the last day of my prescription. I have ni idea what they are going to do, and I am scared. PLEASE NOTE: I called and spoke to pharmaceutical company. There was some misinformation out there including what my doctor thought. It doesn’t make much difference, but I thought some of you might want to know that they told me Opana ER would still be able to get filled through December. They also said that after the FDA decided to make Opana ER the first opioid medication they were taking off the market, that they made a deal rather than go through a legal battle to go ahead and take it off the shelves in December, and that they were once again going to make it even more tamper resistant so that it couldn’t be crushed and shot up. Then, if they are successful they will get a new patent.… Read more »

Hi everyone I take
Oxymorphone 20mg er 2x a day and I just got off the phone with the FDA and Oxymorphone er made by global phramacy is not going to be banned it will remain on the self here is the
#1800-332-1088 when it answers push #9 for the extension 0065 her name is Holly and she is a pharmacist for the FDA I thought I would let you all no that way you can tell your Drs to put you on Oxymorphone er made by global what ever mg you take I hope this put you all at ease

I started taking Nucynta today as a replacement for Opana ER and wanted to let everyone know I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress. I’ve heard good and bad after many hours of searching online for people that have been on Nucynta. It was the first recommendation from my doctor that knows his stuff. I’m also taking Opana IR 10mg. and not sure if that will last. No one has a straight answer if the IR is going away too.

How is everyone else doing? Don’t forget we are all in this together.

Take care,

Please know how lucky you are..I moved 7 years ago and had to change doctors. This dr. Has gone from helping me to: ” find your own pain dr. to comply with Wa State regulations or as of Sept 1 you are not a patient “. I am DESPERATELY Searching for a doctor in Eastern Wa. “Do no harm” is difficult to find now.

M Bileaudeaux, what planet are you on? This won’t become an issue in the future it already is a huge issue! Sadly unless we can get friends, family and aquaintents to get involved we’re sunk because after all we’re just a bunch of drug addicts! It’s going to take an awful lot of noise from the non pain patients to get the attention of these imbeciles to change their misinformed minds about anything to do with the war on pain patients and their providers! Somehow they have to see the dollar signs in NOT taking our medication from us as they see them in making us all addicts!

Without our pain medication many of us could not function daily. This is a huge fear for me, the government becoming involved in telling us what medication our doctors can prescribe to us. I take pain meds daily, I work, I am active and I am productive. Without my medication I would not be able to continue. I would probably be bed-ridden most of the time.
I cannot urge you enough to email or write or call you congressman, Senator Price and also the president. I heard on CNN the other day that most of the addiction issues lie with physician over prescribing pain medications, if they start controlling this we may see an end to our pain specialists in the future. The drug addiction issues lies with the individual persons and their families, not the doctor who prescribes for medical benefits. The answer is awareness, education, intervention and follow-up, not taking away the medications that help many of us. This will become an issue, believe me, in the very near future and without us being proactive in preventing this from hurting us or our doctors, please, please contact your representatives NOW.
Thank you

Opana wasn’t a money maker for Endo Pharmaceuticals. It accounted for around 160 million dollars of their 400 billion they made in 2016.
I think they were probably tired of jumping through the FDA hoops with this medication. When it was reformulated, they wanted to disclose that information but were not allowed to by the FDA because the FDA believed that doing so would make people try harder to work around the deterrent factors. Then the FDA claims that Endo didn’t do enough to promote the fact that Opana ER had been reformulated and they failed to adequately advertise the deterrent factors that were implemented.
Either way, they had no chance….the drug didn’t make them enough money to bother fighting the FDA over it, IMO.

Maureen yes mine told me the same thing that it is not the oxymorphone only the name brand opana that’s being pulled she went on to explain that they are totally two different pills with different compounds they only find the name brand as the ones being abused I’m with you on this I only hope she’s right. Praying that she is. Thsts what I’m on the oxymorphone most are on the generic because even a prescription can be wrote for opana they would not fill it as oxymorphone . I recently actually fell up in that problem waiting on my 6 month preauthrazation they wrote me a prescription for 14 it was memorial day weekend and it wass not going to get approved before I ran out so he wrote me a prescription for 14 opana they had to have the doctor call before they could even fill them. So lets all hope this is correct information.


Be careful. You may be reading FAKE NEWS. If you want to know what is going on with Opana ER go to the FDA website. This is commonly known as “Going straight to the horses mouth”
Do you own research, Just pick up the phone and call them or visit their website.
Everything you want or need to know is there, In fact, you can sign up to get on their mailing list and get a monthly drug report, medical device report, the list is endless.

My pharmacist told us that the only notice they’ve received is about Opana ER.
I’m sure hoping that’s all she’ll hear.

I can’t help but wonder who is benefiting from this. Why would Endo Pharmaceutical just cave & stop production of a very successful & money-making med.

Alternative to Opana--rae

I posted “Dr.Confirmation” about Opana below. My Dr. suggested Xtampsa?? Never heard of it here or anywhere? Let me know if you have or anyone has knowledge of this alternative.

Also: while watching a popular news program-there was a ticker tape scrolling along bottom of screen: as follows:

Dea proposes 20% reduction in manufacture of commonly prescribed opioid pc & other controlled substances for next year: proposal comes as US regulators & law makers take steps to limit supply of opioids amid epidemic of abuse. Attorney Jeff Sessions earlier this wk unveiled plan to go after Doctors & pharmacies suspected of >”health care fraud” < by over-prescribing. W.H. commission formed to combat drug epidemic/crisis are stating opioid over doses kill 142 Americans a day! With over dose deaths now surpassing deaths by gun homicides & car crashes combined!

ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS: "wow–did they include the murders on the streets of Chicago in these statistics & if only they gave a darn about that crisis as much as they're showing devout, unrelenting resolve/resourcefulness to this so called opioid crisis(war on PM!) !! What a sham!

As everyone else on here we are all in severe pain. We sleep horrible hours wake up can’t move to even get to the bathroom cry when my feet hit the floor worth around my bed like a person dying because I feel like I am. Yes the media and the FDA is the blame the overdose rate when looked at is a mix of pain meds with herion or something else if people would stop trying to get high and just take as prescribed this would not be happening it is the drug addicts fault that we all are going to suffer tramatically unfortunately. They are also pulling the oxymorphone IR all and any oxymorphone is being taken off the market 9/1 I see my pm on the 18 I will see then I guess if whatever does not work I will do what the government wants us all to do get on suboxen I think they must have stock in it the way there pushing it on us all trying to rather my insurance has to do a 3 day preauthrazation for my meds. I can not keep being sick when the time comes for all these changes severe pain I will suffer horrendously. Which is worse suffering horrendous pain AND BEING SICK or just suffering the pain. I’m at my end with it all my emotions are all over the place trying to wean down now I’m sick I’m suffering I can’t stand no more I don’t know if other people feel the same as me I’m sure you do. I have no answers I’m tired I’m in pain I can’t sleep and I’m sick. I’m just done yes if I had the guts I would blow my brains out. Just sick and tired of being sick and tired and in horrendous pain !! This is so wrong to do this just so un humane to make human’s suffer like this because of herion overdoses its not pain pills it may have used to be but no its not the problem they will see. !–

Chronic pain has pushed me to the edge more times than I wish to think about. I spent enough time contemplating suicide to come to the conclusion that any existence is better than no existence at all. To all the people dealing with the system that is manned with those that can not empathise with chronic pain sufferers, do whatever you need to persevere and existe. You must believe it will get better and pray this entire opioid crisis, AKA “stupidity crisis” tapers off just like I was tapered off my pain meds 3 months ago.


I suffer from ehlers Danlos type III. I too am on oxymorphone ER. While I am beyond disappointed at this decision, I am very lucky to have an incredible doctor who is working with me on alternatives.
I know it has already been said in the comments that 9/1 is the date opana ER will be pulled. However, this short article says that rx’s will be filled until the supply is depleted. It may give my doc & me just bit more time to get another med that works for me or allow me to wean off current dose.

“Now nuycenta you say please everyone post what’s working best for you I’m at lost over this”
Nucynta was the best pain medicine I have ever tried. However, It is SSRI and you my have the same headache you get with Cymbalta. I took it for two weeks hoping this side effect would go away. I called the doc and they said STOP TAKING NOW. It can increase your intracranial pressure.
Fentanyl patch is the way to go. No pills to take except for breakthrough pain.
BEWARE: Asking for a medication by name will get you Ibuprofen 600 mg. Asking for any narcotic by name makes you look like a drug seeker and you will $crew yourself.

Hello everyone,
Thanks for the quick replies. Does anyone know if Opana IR is also being taken away too or just the ER? I currently get the generic Opana IR 10mg for breakthrough pain.

If we all stick together and help each other out we can make the best of the bad situation.

I took Nucynta for about 4 years before switching to Opana ER. It definitely did not work as well as Opana did for me….the reason I had to change was because raising my dosage of Nucynta caused severe itching. It also has a built in anti depressant factor to it. In my opinion, it would be a step down from Opana in regards to effectiveness….but everyone is different, so it might work for some people. I never experienced any other side effects aside from the itching.
Embeda was my first switch after they announced they were going after Opana. I did not last a month on it, it was not anywhere near the level of Opana in controlling or helping my pain. I saw my pain management doctor last week for a procedure and we switched from Embeda to something new that is working very well…..possibly better than Opana did.
I am not going to name what it is on here.. (just know that there are alternatives that can work as well if not better, in my experience) …one of my posts prior to going to my doctor last week was never even posted. Not sure why as all I did was offer to ask him any specific questions about Opana because he is part of an advisory board…..I guess I will just read what everyone else says from here on out –
This post probably won’t be allowed either…..no clue

One formulation removal is not the end for chronic pain patients. IMO you will get something different and perhaps better. I would gander that formulation is easily converted to an injectable drug and abused,
the earlier versions of morphine sulfate were easily converted to heroin and injected.
A pain management clinic can tell if a patient is converting their MS to heroin and injecting it.
The specimen need only be less than 24 hours old to make this determination,
I am not sure, but I will check and see if this formulation is listed as the top Rx in the diversion category.
They simply cannot make anything fool proof, just as something was put together, there is a way to take it apart,