Opana Abuse Linked to Fatal Blood Disorder

WARNING – do not use Opana intravenously. The FDA has issued a warning to people who abuse the narcotic opiate because it can lead to a fatal blood disorder.

Injecting Opana  intravenously may cause the user to develop a serious blood disorder that can lead to kidney failure or deathf kidney failure requiring dialysis and at least one death have been linked to injection of Opana into the bloodstream.

The blood disorder, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), causes blood clots to form in blood vessels throughout the body. Blood flow to the kidneys, brain, heart and other organs may limited or stopped altogether. The blood clots can also cause bleeding under the skin and internal bleeding throughout the body. In addition to kidney failure, possible effects of the disorder include stroke and brain damage.

Opana is an extended-release opioid painkiller that contains oxymorphone. Like OxyContin, it carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and overdose. Since 2010, law enforcement authorities have seen a rise in the addiction to Opana. The growing popularity of the drug has been attributed to the reformulation of OxyContin to make it harder to inject or snort. When injecting OxyContin became too difficult, many drug abusers discovered that they could crush Opana and snort or inject it for a heroin-like high.

Prescription drug abusers who switch from OxyContin to Opana are often unaware that Opana is more potent per does and carries a greater risk of overdose. Endo Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Opana, has developed a crush-resistant version that has been approved by the FDA. Although the new formula is slated to replace the older extended-release version, many pharmacies still stock the older version.

The rise of Opana’s popularity is in keeping with a disturbing pattern – each time pharmaceutical companies and law enforcement officials stop the abuse of one substance, addicts will find another substance to fill the void. When the new Opana formula completely replaces the old one, authorities are expecting drug abusers to turn to heroin or another drug.

TTP is only associated with injection of Opana. When the drug is taken orally as prescribed under a doctor’s orders, there is no known risk of contracting the disorder.

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