Dilaudid, also available as hydromorphone, is an opioid medication. An opioid is also known as narcotics. It helps treat moderate to severe pain. It is under the prescription for long-term use only in pain caused by cancer.
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How to take Dilaudid?
Take Dilaudid precisely as per the prescription. Read & carefully follow the directions on the prescription label. 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. 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. 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. 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. Learn about drug take-back disposal programs and dispose of the leftover medicine carefully.
What to know before taking Dilaudid?
You should avoid taking Dilaudid if you suffer from severe stomach problems or a blockage in your intestines or stomach.
Dilaudid can stop or slow 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.
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.
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 are the benefits of using Dilaudid?
Dilaudid helps in relieving moderate to severe pain. You may use it orally or by injection into a muscle, vein, or under the skin. Generally, its effects begin within half an hour and last for up to five hours. Long-term use is under the recommendation only in cancer, where the pain is deep and long.
Dilaudid is more beneficial than opioids for cancer pain. It is also helpful as an extended-release tablet if people need daily medicine for pain treatment.
Misuse of narcotic pain medications like Dilaudid can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Dilaudid may be a habit-forming drug even at regular doses.
What are the side effects of Dilaudid?
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 urgently 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;
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.
How does Dilaudid work?
Dilaudid works in the brain and switches how your body feels and responds to pain. It belongs to the opioid analgesic class of drugs.
It is still a question of how this drug works to ease the pain. One can say it reduces pain by acting on specific opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
It gives maximum results if you use it at the initial stage of pain. If you wait until the pain reaches its worst stage, the medication may not work correctly.
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.