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.
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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 Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
66%
9% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
50%
22% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
19%
10% vs. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
Side effects
DilaudidOxycodone
  • Joint pain 4%
  • Weight decreased 1%
More Dilaudid side effects »
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • 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
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
DilaudidOxycodone
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
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
  • 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 Oxycontin (Oxycodone) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      DilaudidOxycodone
      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
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
      • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
      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. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
      • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      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.
      • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than 2 weeks.
      • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
      • 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).
      • Need be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than two weeks.
      • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
      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
      More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert