Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Dilaudid

(Hydromorphone)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
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Treats moderate to severe pain.

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Prescription opioids are used to treat several kinds of pain - but they carry significant risks, including addiction. Learn more about these drugs and be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor.

Our bottom line

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

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Upsides

  • 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.
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Downsides

  • 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 effect rates for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)

2474 From clinical trials of Dilaudid / Chronic pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle weakness/fatiguea/fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Hyperhydrosis

Risks and Warnings for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)

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    • 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.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
Kidneys and liver
  • 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.
Pain
  • Works well to relieve moderate to severe pain.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Not much negative to say, it is the cleanest of all painkillers ive every tried. It is not for a main control of pain, only breakthrough. Make sure you dont run out, short withdrawals 5-7 days that are insane. Others 2 weeks to 6months
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.
  • Dilaudids make me tired but most times unable to sleep. So that can get aggravating. But the side effects are much less than that of percocet, so I will take the little aggravation any day over itching, nodding off,druggy, dizzy, nauseous, and other side effects I use to get on percocet.