Dilaudid is available in tablets in 8 mg strength, in liquid form in 5 mg strength per 5 ml of liquid, and Dilaudid Injection is available as sterile solution containing 1, 2, or 4 mg hydromorphone hydrochloride with 0.2% sodium citrate and 0.2% citric acid solution.
Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) 8 mg treats severe, ongoing pain that cannot be controlled with other medicines. This medicine is a narcotic pain reliever.
WHAT IS DILAUDID (HYDROMORPHONE)?
Dilaudid is the brand name of the drug hydromorphone, which is used to relieve pain.
This medicine is in a class of drugs called opiate analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hydromorphone in 1984.
Dilaudid can slow or stop your breathing if it is overused, and can lead to complete cessation of breathing (respiratory arrest) and death.
You should never take this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than your doctor prescribes.
Before taking Dilaudid, tell your doctor if you have ever experienced:
- Brain disorders, such as a head injury, seizure, or tumor
- Breathing problems, such as asthma, sleep apnea, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Kidney or liver disease
- Mood or mental disorders, such as depression
- Stomach or intestinal problems
- Difficulty urinating
- Gallbladder disease
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
You should also tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a substance-abuse issue, drinks alcohol frequently or regularly, has ever used street drugs, or has ever abused prescription medicines.
Taking certain medications with Dilaudid may increase your risk for serious or life-threatening side effects.
You should tell your doctor if you are taking other narcotic pain drugs; sedatives; medications for anxiety, seizures, mental illness, or nausea; muscle relaxants; sleeping pills; or tranquilizers.
The injection form of Dilaudid is available in a regular-strength solution and a concentrated solution that contains more of the drug.
Your doctor will prescribe the concentrated solution only if you are opioid tolerant, meaning you have been treated with specific doses of narcotics for at least one week, allowing your body to adjust to the medicine.
The concentrated solution may cause serious side effects or even death if it’s taken by someone who is not opioid tolerant.
Pain medicines work best if they are taken when the symptoms first occur. This drug may not work as well if you wait until your pain worsens.
You shouldn’t stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor. The drug may cause withdrawal symptoms, especially if it’s been used regularly for a long period of time or in high doses.
If you use Dilaudid for a long period of time, it may not work as well. Talk to your doctor if you notice the medication stops working for you.
The ‘Dilaudid High’ and Abuse
Dilaudid has a high potential for abuse. It can be habit-forming, and in some cases, it can cause drug addiction.
You should take this medication exactly as your doctor prescribes to lessen the risk of addiction.
Pregnancy and Dilaudid
You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking Dilaudid.
The medicine can also pass into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding infant. You shouldn’t breastfeed while taking Dilaudid.
DILAUDID SIDE EFFECTS
Common Side Effects of Dilaudid
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects are severe or don’t go away:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Mood changes
Serious Side Effects of Dilaudid
You should stop taking Dilaudid and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Rash or hives
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, mouth, or throat
You should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal and recreational drugs; herbal remedies; and any nutritional or dietary supplements you’re taking, especially:
- Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Butrans, in Suboxone)
- Butorphanol (Stadol)
- Ipratropium (Atrovent)
- Medications for glaucoma, irritable bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers, and urinary problems
- Pentazocine (Talwin)
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Phenelzine (Nardil)
- Selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar)
- Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
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