Compare Dilaudid vs. oxycodone

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

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Dilaudid (hydromorphone)

Prescription only

Oxycontin (oxycodone)

Prescription only
Treats moderate to severe pain.

Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is a powerful pain reliever that has significant risks for abuse and overdose.

4.1/ 5 average rating with 51 reviewsforDilaudid
Treats moderate to severe pain.

Oxycontin (oxycodone) treats moderate to severe pain, but can be habit-forming, especially if used long-term.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1241 reviewsforoxycodone
Upsides
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone) works better and faster at relieving pain than morphine.
  • Available in a cheap generic version.
  • Oxycontin (oxycodone) is available in a tamper-resistant form to lessen the risk of abuse.
  • Liquid form is available if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Available in a generic version.
  • The extended-release pill provides around-the-clock pain relief with convenient once or twice daily dosing.
Downsides
  • Constipation is a common side effect of Dilaudid (hydromorphone) and may require the use of laxatives or stool softeners.
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is fatal when combined with alcohol, muscle relaxants, and other medications that slow breathing.
  • Long-term use of opioids will cause physical dependence.
  • Constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea commonly occur.
  • Long-term use can cause dependence and tolerance.
  • Not effective in treating all kinds of pain.
  • It’s not safe to start taking extended-release pills if you've never taken an opioid medicine before.
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Used for
  • Pain management
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
51 reviews so far
78%
saidit'sworth it
65%
saiditworked well
10%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Dilaudid (hydromorphone)?

Leave a review
1241 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Dilaudid (hydromorphone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Constipation
    23%
  • Nausea
    23%
  • Sleepiness
    23%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Itchiness
    13%
  • Vomiting
    12%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Dry mouth
    6%
  • Weakness
    6%
  • Sweating
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Slowed breathing
    • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Higher doses
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Use with benzodiazepines
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death of newborn babies from opioid withdrawal
    • 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 Dilaudid (hydromorphone) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Slowed breathing
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dosages
    • After dose change
    • History of lung problems
    • Taking other painkillers or sedatives
  • Harm to newborn babies
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
    • Younger age
  • Interactions with other medicines
    • Taking medicines that also cause sleepiness or slowed breathing
  • Confusion and drowsiness
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dosages
    • Taking other painkillers or sedatives
  • Death from overdose
    • Taking alcohol, other opioids, or benzodiazepines
    • Children age 18 and younger
See more detailed risks and warnings