Treats moderate to severe pain.
Our pharmacists’ bottom line
Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is a fast-acting, potent medication that treats problems needing strong pain relief.
- 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.
- 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.
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Side effects for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)
From clinical trials of Dilaudid / Chronic pain ( 2474)
- ConstipationConstipation31% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- NauseaNausea28% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- HeadacheHeadache15% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- DrowsinessDrowsiness14% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- Muscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigueMuscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigue12% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- DizzinessDizziness11% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- DiarrheaDiarrhea11% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- Sleep difficultySleep difficulty8% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- ItchingItching8% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
- HyperhydrosisHyperhydrosis7% for Dilaudid vs.0% for placebo
What to expect when you start Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)Skip what to expect section. Skip to Risks & Warnings section.
- 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.
Risks and Warnings for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)Skip Risks and Warnings section. Skip to Tips section.
- Higher risk if:
- › 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
Taking too much Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) can cause irregular or slow breathing that can put you in a coma and can cause death. If your lips and fingers start turning blue from low oxygen, see a doctor immediately. In the hospital, doctors can give you a medicine that reverses the effects of Dilaudid (Hydromorphone). Don't take more than your doctor prescribes. Always check with your doctor before starting any new medicines or supplements.
This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.
Tips from pharmacists and people taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)Final section. Do you want to return to drug navigation?
- Tips from our pharmacists
- › Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
- If you have Kidney Stones or anything that causes severe pain, Dilaudid is like a miracle drip! Instant relief! It did not help as much for kidney stones AND kidney infection together. I have only had Dilaudid via IV drip.Age: 50Gender: womanTaken for: Opioid-tolerant pain (severe)
- This was good for me c because I never had that stoned feeling, it either would kill pains or dull them enough to function all day and sleep well, some days I would limit my dose to two 4 mg 1 morning, 1 at night and that would be fine.Age: 63Gender: manTaken for: Pain (moderate to severe)