Compare Dilaudid vs. Oxycodone

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

Dilaudid
(hydromorphone)

Oxycontin
(oxycodone)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is a fast-acting, potent medication that treats problems needing strong pain relief.Treats severe pain. Oxycontin (Oxycodone) provides options for treating both short and long-term moderate to severe pain, but no matter how long you take it, you’ll need to watch out for constipation.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.59Dilaudid
Reviews for Dilaudid
78%
of people (All ages) say Dilaudid is worth it
65%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Dilaudid (hydromorphone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Oxycodone
66%
+12% better vs. Dilaudid
50%
+15% better vs. Dilaudid
19%
+9% better vs. Dilaudid
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DilaudidOxycodone
  • Constipation 15%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Somnolence 9%
  • Headache 8%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Arthralgia 4%
  • Pruritus 5%
  • Insomnia 1%
  • Asthenia/fatigue 12%
  • Dizziness 11%
More Dilaudid side effects »
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Somnolence 19%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Pruritus 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dry Mouth 4%
  • Asthenia 6%
  • Sweating 3%
More Oxycodone side effects »
How it works
DilaudidOxycodone
Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
DilaudidOxycodone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
DilaudidOxycodone
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Used for
DilaudidOxycodone
Risk factors for serious side effects
DilaudidOxycodone
  • 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
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
Detailed Oxycontin (oxycodone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Alcohol
DilaudidOxycodone
  • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
No alcohol related info.
Food
DilaudidOxycodone
No food related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Pain
DilaudidOxycodone
  • Works well to relieve moderate to severe pain.
  • Oxycontin (Oxycodone) immediate-release (short acting) works best for “as needed” or “break-through” pain.
  • Long-acting tablets are good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
Sleep
DilaudidOxycodone
  • 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 are common when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone), but your body may adjust over time.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
Upsides and benefits
DilaudidOxycodone
  • 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.
  • Oxycontin (Oxycodone) immediate-release (short acting) works best for “as needed” or “break-through” pain.
  • Long-acting tablets are good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Can have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
  • Generally considered to be stronger than morphine.
Downsides and risks
DilaudidOxycodone
  • 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. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
  • You’ll need to take the immediate-release for a few weeks before you can be switched to the long-acting formulation. It’s not safe to start taking the long-acting one if you've never taken an opioid pain medicine before.
  • Everyone will get constipation, so it’s best to stay hydrated and take a stool softener while on Oxycontin (Oxycodone).
  • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Need be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than two weeks.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DilaudidOxycodone
  • 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
Have you used Dilaudid (hydromorphone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it