Compare Dilaudid vs. Norco

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

Dilaudid
(Hydromorphone)

Norco
(Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is a fast-acting, potent medication that treats problems needing strong pain relief.Treats moderate to severe pain. Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is a good option to treat pain as needed when over-the-counter medicines can't control the symptoms, but must make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.
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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 Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
67%
8% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
44%
28% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
13%
4% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
Side effects
DilaudidNorco
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Weight decreased 1%
More Dilaudid side effects »

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

More about Norco side effects »
How it works
DilaudidNorco
Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is a combination pain medicine. Hydrocodone is an opioid (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception. Acetaminophen is a non-opioid pain reliever and fever reducer.
Type of medication
DilaudidNorco
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Available as
DilaudidNorco
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
DilaudidNorco
Risk factors for serious side effects
DilaudidNorco
  • 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 liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • People with not enough thyroid hormones
  • History of lung problems
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
    • Long-term use of opioids in mother
    • Breastfeeding while taking Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
    Detailed Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    DilaudidNorco
    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).
    • Avoid alcohol.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.
    • Generally well tolerated by people, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
    • 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.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.
    • Hydrocodone, one of the medications in Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) passes into breast milk. Women with a history of long-term opioid use increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms in the newborn include irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor and lack of weight gain. Opioid withdrawal in infants is a life-threatening emergency and needs medical help right away.
    Upsides and benefits
    DilaudidNorco
    • 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.
    • Combination pain medicine with an opiod component (hydrocodone) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
    • Provides quick relief for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
    • Good for as-needed, short-term use, but may be helpful to manage more long-term pain problems if used at the appropriate doses and intervals.
    • Generally well tolerated by people, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
    • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
    • Can help you fall asleep easier.
    Downsides and risks
    DilaudidNorco
    • 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.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
    • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Norco if you need.
    • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
    • The non-opioid part of Norco, acetaminophen (Tylenol), has a high risk of liver failure and death if you take more than the maximum daily dose. Be very careful.
    • Relies on the users to be aware of how much acetaminophen (Tylenol) they are using since it is a very common ingredient in many prescription and non-prescription pain medicines.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    DilaudidNorco
    • 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.
    • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
    • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain. Starts working in 30 minutes and pain relief lasts 4 to 6 hours.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid activities 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 using laxatives can help.
    • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
    • Use it for the shortest time and at the lowest dose possible, to lower your chance of becoming addicted.
    • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
    Learn more
    More about DilaudidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about NorcoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert