What is Hydromorphone?

Hydromorphone is an opioid medication that helps treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release version of hydromorphone is for around-the-clock treatment of mild to severe pain. This drug is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

Hydromorphone is a prescription medication sold under the brand name Dilaudid (immediate-release). Hydromorphone oral tablets are available in both generic and brand-name versions. Generic drugs are usually less expensive. However, they may not be available in the same strength or form as brand-name versions in some cases. You can order hydromorphone online from a trusted website.

Hydromorphone is also available in the following forms:

  • oral liquid solution
  • injectable solution
  • high-potency injectable solution

Important Information

Improper use of opioid medications can cause overdose, addiction, or death. Keep the medication in a location where others will not be able to get it.

Using opioids during pregnancy can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the infant.

Combining opioid medication with alcohol or other medicines that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing may lead to fatal side effects.

What to know before taking hydromorphone?

Do not take hydromorphone if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or other narcotic medicines or if you have any of the following conditions:

  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines
  • severe asthma or breathing problems
  • a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus

If you have used MAO inhibitors in the last 14 days, do not take hydromorphone. A hazardous drug interaction may occur. MAO inhibitors include linezolid, isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • brain tumor, a head injury, or seizures
  • breathing problems such as sleep apnea
  • urination problems
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • a sulfite allergy
  • problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid
  • alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental illness

If you use opioid medications while pregnant, your baby may become dependent on the drug, resulting in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn after birth. Babies born dependent on opioid medicines may require medical care for several weeks.

Do not breastfeed while using hydromorphone. It may pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness or breathing problems in a nursing baby.

How to take hydromorphone?

Read all medication guides and follow the directions on your prescription label. Never use hydromorphone in larger doses or for a longer period than prescribed. Inform your doctor if you have an increased urge to take more of this medication. If you want to buy hydrocodone online, make sure that the medicine is genuine.

Never give opioid medication to anyone else, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Misuse of opioid medicines can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Always keep the medicine in a place where others will not be able to get it. Selling or giving away opioid medication is against the law.

When you start taking hydromorphone, you should stop taking all the other narcotic pain relievers.

To avoid a potentially fatal overdose, swallow the capsule or tablet whole. Avoid crushing, chewing, breaking, opening, or dissolving.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device.

If you suddenly stop taking hydromorphone, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor about how to stop using hydromorphone safely.

Do not crush or break a hydromorphone pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. Doing so can cause death.

Store hydromorphone at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Discard any unused liquid after 90 days.

Keep track of the medications you are taking. If someone is using it improperly or without a prescription, you should be aware.

Do not keep any unused opioid medication. A single dose of this medication can be fatal if taken improperly or accidentally.

Hydromorphone dosage

Adult dosage for severe pain

Oral tablet: The typical starting dosage is 2 mg to 4 mg once every 4 to 6 hours.

Extended-release oral tablet: For use only in opioid-tolerant people

Your doctor may increase your dosage by 4 mg to 8 mg every 3 to 4 days if needed.

Overdose

An overdose of hydromorphone can be fatal, especially in children or others who use the medication without a prescription. The symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, slow heart rate, muscle weakness, very slow breathing, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, or coma.

What to avoid while using hydromorphone?

Avoid drinking alcohol while using hydromorphone. The consumption of alcohol with hydromorphone may lead to dangerous side effects or death.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how hydromorphone will affect you. Dizziness and drowsiness can lead to falls, accidents, and serious injuries.

Hydromorphone side effects

Some common side effects of hydrocodone may include:

  • drowsiness
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain

Opioids can slow or stop your breathing, resulting in death. Someone caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue-colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

If you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, get medical attention right away. The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include hallucinations, agitation, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, twitching, muscle stiffness, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are malnourished or debilitated.

Long-term opioid use may affect fertility or the ability to have children in men or women. However, it is unknown whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a slow heart rate or weak pulse
  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep
  • a light-headed feeling
  • severe weakness or drowsiness
  • confusion, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness
  • low cortisol levels- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness

What drugs can interact with hydromorphone?

Hydromorphone may interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. If you have been using hydromorphone for a long period, using these medicines with it can produce opioid withdrawal symptoms:

  • pentazocine
  • nalbuphine
  • butorphanol
  • buprenorphine

Make sure your doctor knows if you also use:

  • drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing such as a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, medicine to treat mood disorders or mental illness
  • other narcotic medications, including opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine
  • a sedative like Valium including alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, Xanax, Klonopin, Versed, and others
  • medications that affect serotonin levels in your body such as medicine for depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or nausea and vomiting.