hydromorphone (oral)

Pronunciation: HYE droe MOR fone

Brand: Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5, Exalgo

Dilaudid 2 mg ABB

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Dilaudid 2 mg

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Dilaudid 4 mg

round, yellow, imprinted with 4, a

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Dilaudid 8 mg

triangular, white, imprinted with 8, double Abbott Logo (aa)

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Hydromorphone 2 mg-ETH

round, blue, imprinted with 2, E

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Hydromorphone 2 mg-MAL

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Hydromorphone 2 mg-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 743, 2

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Hydromorphone 4 mg-ETH

round, beige, imprinted with 4, E

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Hydromorphone 4 mg-MAL

round, white, imprinted with M, 4

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Hydromorphone 4 mg-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 4, 54 609

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Hydromorphone 8 mg-ETH

round, white, imprinted with E, 8

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Hydromorphone 8 mg-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 403

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What is the most important information I should know about hydromorphone?

Multum habit

Hydromorphone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Multum noalcohol

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with a narcotic pain medicine. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.

Never take hydromorphone in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Multum dizzy

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how hydromorphone will affect you.

Multum donot

Do not stop using hydromorphone suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using hydromorphone.

What is hydromorphone?

Hydromorphone is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

Hydromorphone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release form of this medication is for around-the-clock treatment of pain.

Hydromorphone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using hydromorphone?

Multum donot

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, morphine, Lortab, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and many others).

You should also not take hydromorphone if you have:

  • a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus; or
  • if you are having an asthma attack.
Multum donot

Do not take hydromorphone if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

To make sure you can safely take hydromorphone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • sulfite allergy;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • underactive thyroid;
  • curvature of the spine;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • low blood pressure;
  • gallbladder disease or pancreatitis;
  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;
  • mental illness;
  • a history of alcoholism or drug addiction; or
  • if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
Multum habit

Hydromorphone may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Never share hydromorphone with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

You may not be able to take hydromorphone unless you are already being treated with a similar opioid pain medicine and your body is tolerant to it. Opioid medicines include fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), methadone (Methadose, Dolophine), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), oxycodone (Oxycontin), oxymorphone (Opana), and many others. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.

Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether hydromorphone will harm an unborn baby. Hydromorphone may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother uses the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using hydromorphone.

Multum nobrfeed

Hydromorphone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using hydromorphone.

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

How should I use hydromorphone?

Take exactly as prescribed. Never take hydromorphone in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Multum nocrush

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Multum donot

Do not stop using hydromorphone suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using hydromorphone.

Multum rt

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

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Hydromorphone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

After you have stopped using this medication, flush any unused pills or liquid down the toilet.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since hydromorphone is used on an as needed basis, you are not likely to miss a dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Multum donot

Extended-release hydromorphone is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of hydromorphone can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, confusion, cold and clammy skin, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting, or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while using hydromorphone?

Multum noalcohol

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with a narcotic pain medicine. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.

Multum dizzy

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how hydromorphone will affect you.

What are the possible side effects of hydromorphone?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • weak or shallow breathing;
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • confusion, severe weakness or drowsiness; or
  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • blurred vision, double vision;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • dry mouth;
  • sweating;
  • itching; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia), or strange dreams.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect hydromorphone?

Multum donot

Do not take hydromorphone with other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex);
  • butorphanol (Stadol);
  • nalbuphine (Nubain);
  • pentazocine (Talwin);
  • atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine), belladonna (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm Scop);
  • bladder or urinary medicines such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
  • bronchodilators such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • irritable bowel medicines such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Hyomax), or propantheline (Pro Banthine); or
  • ulcer medications such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul) or mepenzolate (Cantil).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with hydromorphone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about hydromorphone.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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