Compare Dilaudid vs. Morphine sulfate

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Dilaudid
(Hydromorphone)

Ms Contin
(Morphine Sulfate)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is a fast-acting, potent medication that treats problems needing strong pain relief.Treats severe pain. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) provides good long-term pain control without the need to take medicine frequently, but watch out for constipation.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.65625Dilaudid
Reviews for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
75%
of people say Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is worth it
72%
say it works well
9%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
55%
20% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
43%
29% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
20%
11% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
Side effects
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Weight decreased 1%
More Dilaudid side effects »

The Morphine sulfate FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Morphine sulfate side effects »
How it works
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
Risk factors for serious side effects
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
  • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • People with not enough thyroid hormones
  • History of lung problems
  • Children age 18 and younger
  • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Long-term use
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) risks & warnings »
  • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • People with not enough thyroid hormones
  • History of lung problems
  • Children age 18 and younger
  • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Long-term use
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
  • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Dizziness and drowsiness are common when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone), but your body may adjust over time.
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) will cause drowsiness, so be really careful if you're taking other meds that also cause drowsiness, such as antidepressives, antianxiety meds, or muscle relaxants.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
  • Works well to relieve moderate to severe pain.
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is stronger than morphine and works quicker than other pain medications.
  • It doesn't cause as many side effects, like nausea and rashes, as morphine does.
  • It's available as fast-acting tablets, extended-release tablets, and as a liquid.
  • Provides longer relieve for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Might have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
Downsides and risks
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
  • People with breathing problems like asthma and COPD need to be monitored very closely if taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) isn't usually used for elderly or frail patients.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness are common when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone), but your body may adjust over time.
  • Everyone tends to get constipation while on this, so you'll need to stay hydrated and may need to take a stool softener medication.
  • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than 2 weeks.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) if you need.
  • Long term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after use longer than 2 weeks.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DilaudidMorphine sulfate
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is usually taken for a short time. If you take it longer than 2 weeks, you'll need to lower your dose slowly to get off it since stopping suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms.
  • Usually works within 30 minutes.
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) will cause drowsiness, so be really careful if you're taking other meds that also cause drowsiness, such as antidepressives, antianxiety meds, or muscle relaxants.
  • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
  • It's very important to keep Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) away from children, since it can stop them from breathing.
  • Opioid pain medicine that provides longer pain relief—up to 12 hours.
  • Works best when taken regularly instead of as-needed.
  • Especially useful for people with chronic pain problems.
  • May not be the best choice for people who have never taken an opioid pain medicine because it lasts so long.
  • Swallow it whole. Don't crush, chew, or split the medicine.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and taking laxatives can help.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't help enough for your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
Learn more
More about DilaudidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Morphine sulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert