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What is Hydromorphone?
Hydromorphone oral tablet is a prescription medication available under the brand name Dilaudid (immediate-release). Hydrocodone comes in the following forms: injectable solution, oral liquid solution, and high-potency injectable solution. Hydromorphone oral tablets help treat severe pain that other medications are not sufficient to treat. It is a pain reliever that acts on specific centers in the brain to provide you pain relief.
Hydromorphone can also make your breathing weak or shallow like other narcotic drugs. If the breathing becomes too soft, death may occur. Older adults, malnourished, and sick people are more likely to suffer from breathing problems due to hydromorphone use. Do not breastfeed while taking Hydromorphone because the drug can pass into breast milk and cause breathing problems or drowsiness in a nursing baby.
What to know before taking Hydromorphone?
Before taking it, tell each medical healthcare provider if you are allergic to it or other opioid medication such as hydrocodone, morphine, or any other allergy. It may contain inactive ingredients like sulfites or latex, which can cause allergic reactions or other issues. Before using this medication, tell your medical healthcare professional about your medical history, especially of:
- Stomach or intestinal problems such as constipation, blockage, paralytic ileus, diarrhea due to infection;
- Brain disorders such as a tumor, brain injury, seizures, increased intracranial pressure;
- Breathing problems like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, sleep apnea, asthma;
- Heart problems such as CHF, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure;
- Pancreatitis, gallbladder disease;
- Mental disorders or mood changes causing depression or psychosis;
- Liver or kidney disease;
- History of substance use disorder;
- The difficulty usually urinating due to urethral stricture or enlarged prostate;
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid); or
- Addison’s disease (adrenal gland issue)
If you take opioid medication during pregnancy, you could give birth to a drug-dependent baby. It can cause fatal withdrawal symptoms in the baby after its inception. Babies born dependent on opioids like Hydromorphone may need treatment for several weeks. Do not breastfeed while taking Hydromorphone because the drug can pass into breast milk and cause breathing problems or drowsiness in a nursing baby.
How to take Hydromorphone?
When it comes to Hydromorphone HCL syringe, any medical healthcare provider will give it to you under the skin, slowly into a vein, or into a muscle. Use it precisely as per your doctor’s prescription. Before taking Hydromorphone, check it visually for particles or discoloration. Do not use the liquid if either of them is present. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection spot with rubbing alcohol. If you take this medication into a muscle or under the skin, it is essential to change the injection site with each dose to avoid problems under the skin areas. Use syringes and needles only once. Learn how to discard medical supplies and needles safely. Some brands of this drug contain more than a dose, while others have only one amount. You should review the product use before purchasing it from your pharmacist. If your medical healthcare provider recommended you to take a single-dose brand, use it for one dose only. Your medical dosage will depend upon your age, medical condition, other medications you take, other medical conditions you have, and your response to the initial phase of treatment with any form of Hydromorphone.
Usual adult dosage of Hydromorphone HCL for severe pain:
- Oral pills- 2 mg to 4 mg orally within every 4 to 6 hours as needed
- Oral liquid- 2.5 mg to 10 mg orally within every 3 to 6 hours as needed
- Extended-release- for those who are opioid-tolerant
Hydromorphone is not under the recommendation for use by anyone younger than 18 years.
If you overdose on Hydromorphone, take urgent medical help or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. A hydromorphone overdose can be deadly, especially in a child or someone taking it without any prescription. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, slow heart rate, cold and clammy skin, muscle weakness, prolonged breathing, pinpoint pupils, or coma.
What to avoid while using Hydromorphone?
Avoid alcohol consumption because dangerous side effects or death may occur due to a combination of alcohol with Hydromorphone. Hydromorphone may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving any vehicle or operating any heavy machinery until you know the effect of this medicine on yourself. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can lead to accidental falls or severe injuries.
Hydromorphone side effects
Hydromorphone can cause nausea, constipation, vomiting, dry mouth, flushing (warming or redness of your skin), drowsiness, dizziness, or sweating. Redness, flushing, pain, or swelling at the site of injection may also occur. If any of these persist or worsen, contact your medical healthcare provider immediately. Severe side effects of Hydromorphone may include:
- Heart problems including faster pulse, chest pain, rapid or very slow heart rate;
- Eye or vision changes including double vision, trouble seeing or blurry eyes, small pinpoint pupils;
- Stomach problems including stomach pain, constipation, bowel blockage with nausea, vomiting, and inability to pass gas or stool;
- Nervous system and muscle issues including tremors, headache, unusual and involuntary movement of eyes, strange prickling sensation on the skin;
- Mood or behavior changes such as agitation, anxiety, nervousness, hallucinations, depression, trouble sleeping, disorientation, strange dreams
- Blood pressure fluctuation with flushing;
- Insufficient functioning of adrenal glands including muscle weakness, long-lasting tiredness, pain in your abdomen;
- Androgen deficiency causing trouble sleeping, fatigue, decreased energy;
- Extreme drowsiness; or
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. For further information regarding side effects, contact your medical healthcare provider or report it to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What drugs can interact with Hydromorphone?
Opioids can interact with various other drugs and lead to dangerous side effects or death. Ensure that your doctor knows about the medications you use, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, herbal products, and vitamins.