Compare Fentanyl vs. Dilaudid

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

Duragesic (Fentanyl)

Prescription only

Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)

Prescription only
Treats severe pain.

Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 84 reviewsforFentanyl
Treats moderate to severe pain.

Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is a fast-acting, potent medication that treats problems needing strong pain relief.

4.1/ 5 average rating with 51 reviewsforDilaudid
Upsides
  • It's used for people who have tried other opioid medications, but still need stronger pain relief.
  • Duragesic (Fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
  • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
  • The Duragesic (Fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • It doesn't provide quick pain relief.
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Like all opioids, don't use when pregnant, since the baby can become dependent on it and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
  • Shouldn't be used for people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or in the elderly.
  • If using the patch, you won't be able to get the medicine out of your body quickly in case of an overdose.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
84 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
70%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Duragesic (Fentanyl)?

Leave a review
51 reviews so far
78%
saidit'sworth it
65%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
37possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    34%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Dizziness
    17%
  • Somnolence
    17%
  • Headache
    16%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Pruritus
    13%
  • Asthenia
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Insomnia
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Edema peripheral
    5%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Dyspnea
    4%
  • Abdominal pain upper
    4%
  • Anorexia
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Hypersensitivity
    3%
  • Urinary retention
    3%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    3%
  • Erythema
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    2%
  • Abnormal Gait
    2%
  • Dry Mouth
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Vasodilatation
    2%
  • Sweating
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Paresthesia
    2%
  • Confusional state
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Hallucination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
28possible side effects
  • Constipation
    31%
  • Nausea
    28%
  • Headache
    15%
  • Somnolence
    14%
  • Asthenia/fatigue
    12%
  • Dizziness
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    11%
  • Pruritus
    8%
  • Insomnia
    8%
  • Hyperhydrosis
    7%
  • Edema peripheral
    6%
  • Dry mouth
    6%
  • Anorexia/decreased appetite
    5%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Back pain
    4%
  • Dyspepsia
    4%
  • Depression
    3%
  • Dyspnea
    3%
  • Muscle spasms
    3%
  • Arthralgia
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Pain in extremity
    3%
  • Pain
    2%
  • Drug withdrawal syndrome
    2%
  • Pyrexia
    2%
  • Fall
    2%
  • Chest pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)
    • 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
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal (Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome)
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)
    • 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
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal (Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome)
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings