"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
HYDROMORPHONE - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Dilaudid, Dilaudid HP
WARNING: This medication comes in several strengths. Be sure you are using the correct strength. The higher strength product should only be used if you have been using narcotic pain medications for a long time. Use of the higher strength medication by someone who is not regularly using narcotic pain relievers can cause very serious (possibly fatal) breathing problems.
Hydromorphone has a high risk for abuse and severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. The risk for harm is higher if you use the wrong dose/strength, or if you use it along with alcohol or other drugs that might affect breathing. Be sure you know how to use hydromorphone and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. (See also Drug Interactions section.) The risk for breathing problems might also be higher when you start this medication and after a dose increase. Get immediate medical help if you notice unusual slow/shallow breathing.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If a child accidentally swallows this drug, get emergency help right away.
USES: This medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Hydromorphone is a narcotic pain reliever. It acts on certain centers in the brain to give you pain relief.
HOW TO USE: Depending on your specific product, this medication is given by injection under the skin, into a muscle, or slowly into a vein. Use exactly as directed by your doctor. Learn the proper way to give injections. If you have any questions about using this medication properly, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. If this medication is given into a muscle or under the skin, it is important to change the location of the injection site with each dose to avoid problem areas under the skin.
Use needles and syringes only once. Learn how to discard needles and medical supplies safely. Some brands of this medication contain more than 1 dose. Some brands contain only 1 dose. Review the use of the product you have been prescribed with your pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to use a single-dose brand, use it for only 1 dose. Do not save any medication remaining in the package. Consult your pharmacist for more information.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Pain medications work best if they are used when the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well. Do not increase your dose, use the medication more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
If nausea occurs, consult your doctor or pharmacist for ways to decrease it (such as taking antihistamines, lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are taking long-acting narcotic medications or use narcotic patches for ongoing pain, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Also follow your doctor's or pharmacist's instructions for safely using non-narcotic pain relievers (such as naproxen, ibuprofen). If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as mental/mood changes, fast breathing, yawning, sweating, watering eyes, goosebumps, muscle twitching) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Use this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Your doctor may need to increase your dose or change your medication. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
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