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What is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid, also available with the generic name of hydromorphone, is an opioid pain medicine. It helps treat moderate to moderately severe pain. In addition, one can use it for other purposes not enlisted in the medication guide.
Dilaudid may be a habit-forming drug, even at regular doses. Take this medicine precisely as per your doctor’s guidelines. Never share this medicine with someone else. Misuse of narcotic pain medication like Dilaudid can cause overdose, addiction, or death, especially in a child or a person taking it without a prescription.
You should avoid taking Dilaudid if you have breathing problems (severe) or a stomach or intestines blockage.
Dilaudid can slow down or stop your breathing, especially when you first start taking this medicine or whenever you change the dosage. Never use this medication in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Do not break, crush, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow the whole table to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
Tell your medical healthcare provider if you are pregnant. This medicine may cause life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn baby if the mother takes this medicine during pregnancy.
Do not take alcohol while using Dilaudid. A combination of alcohol with hydromorphone could cause dangerous side effects or death.
What to know before taking Dilaudid?
Before taking Dilaudid, ensure that you are not allergic to it or other narcotic medications. Ensure that your doctor knows if you have:
- Paralytic ileus (a bowel obstruction);
- Stomach or intestinal blockage; or
- Sleep apnea, breathing problems
How to take Dilaudid?
Take Dilaudid precisely as per the prescription. Read & carefully follow the instructions on the medication guide. Dilaudid can stop or slow your breathing, especially when you start or change the dosage of this medicine. Never use this medication in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Inform the doctor if the treatment is not working efficiently in relieving your pain.
Dilaudid may be a habit-forming drug even at regular doses. Therefore, take this medicine precisely as per your doctor’s prescription. Misuse of narcotic pain medications like Dilaudid can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
Measure the liquid form of this drug with a medicine cup or special dose-measuring spoon, not with a regular utensil. Ask your pharmacist for a medicine dose-measuring device if you do not have one.
Do not suddenly stop taking Dilaudid, or you could face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Instead, take your doctor’s help to stop using this medicine safely.
Never break or crush a pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice caused death with the misuse of Dilaudid and other similar prescription drugs.
Store it away from heat, moisture, and light at room temperature. Dispose of any unused liquid after 90 days.
Keep track of your drug. For example, Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is a drug of abuse, and you must be aware if someone is misusing your medicine or without a prescription.
Never keep leftover Dilaudid pills or liquid. Instead, learn about drug take-back disposal programs and dispose of the leftover medicine carefully.
Initially, Dilaudid oral solution must range from 2.5 mL (one-half) to 10 mL (two teaspoonfuls), 2.5 mg to 10 mg, within every 3 to 6 hours according to the need for pain.
Take medical help immediately or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Overdosing hydromorphone can be deadly, especially in a child or someone else taking it without a prescription. Symptoms of overdose to Dilaudid may include slow heart rate and breathing, muscle weakness, severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, cold and clammy skin, and fainting.
What to avoid while using Dilaudid?
Avoid alcohol consumption while taking Dilaudid. A combination of alcohol with hydromorphone could cause dangerous side effects or death.
The use of Dilaudid may cause impairment in your thinking or reactions. Avoid operating or driving any heavy machinery until you know this medicine’s effect on you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause accidental falls or severe injuries.
Dilaudid side effects
Dilaudid can also make your breathing shallow like other narcotic drugs. If the breathing becomes too weak, death may occur.
Older adults, malnourished, and sick people are more likely to suffer from breathing problems due to hydromorphone use.
Call your doctor instantly if you have:
- Confusion, feeling of extreme sadness or happiness;
- Shallow breathing, sighing, noisy breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;
- Loss of interest in sex, sexual problems, impotence;
- Severe weakness or drowsiness;
- Missed menstrual periods, infertility; or
- Low cortisol levels- nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, worsening tiredness or weakness, dizziness
Common side effects of Dilaudid may include:
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain;
- Tired feeling, headache;
- Drowsiness, dizziness;
- Feeling of extreme sadness or happiness;
- flushing (redness, warmth, or tingly feeling)
- Dry mouth; or
- Sweating, mild itching
It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Take your doctor’s medical advice regarding side effects. Report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What drugs can interact with Dilaudid?
Dilaudid (hydromorphone) can interact with various drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Ensure that your doctor knows if you also use:
- A sedative like Valium- alprazolam, diazepam, Xanax, lorazepam, Versed, Klonopin, and others;
- Other narcotic drugs- prescription cough medicine or opioid pain medications;
- Drugs that affect serotonin levels- a treatment or stimulant for depression, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, nausea, and vomiting, or serious infections; or
- Drugs that slow down your breathing or makes you sleepy- a muscle relaxer, sleeping pill, treatment to recover from mood disorders or mental illness.
It is not a complete list, and others may affect Dilaudid, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal products, and vitamins.