"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.
Dilaudid Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dilaudid (hydromorphone hydrochloride) and Dilaudid Injection (also termed Dilaudid HP) are the tablet, liquid and IV forms of an opioid analgesic used for control of moderate to severe pain. It is available as a generic named hydromorphone hydrochloride. Common side effects that may occur with both tablet and IV forms of Dilaudid are flushing (warmth, redness, or tingling of skin), itching, sweating, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, double vision, headache, sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams, and dry mouth. Note that these drug preparations have serious side effects listed below and are often abused by drug-seeking patients.
Dilaudid is available in tablets in 8 mg strength, in liquid form in 5 mg strength per 5 ml of liquid, and Dilaudid Injection is available as sterile solution containing 1, 2, or 4 mg hydromorphone hydrochloride with 0.2% sodium citrate and 0.2% citric acid solution. Dosage of tablets usually begins at 2-4 mg every 4-6 hours; liquid begins at 2.5 mg (2.5 ml) every 3-6 hours and may be modified according to patient response and doctor's prescription. Dilaudid injection starting dose is 1-2 mg subcutaneously or intramuscularly every 4 to 6 hours as necessary for pain; it can also be given IV slowly over 2-3 min but respiration needs to be monitored. However, the drug preparations are designated schedule 2 opioid antagonists and have the highest potential for abuse and risk of respiratory depression. Use of Dilaudid with alcohol, sedative or hypnotic drugs or other opioid drugs may depress breathing enough to cause death. Serious side effects of Dilaudid are shallow or very slow breathing, bradycardia, confusion, syncope, seizures, cold clammy skin, and death. In addition, after a few weeks of use, patients may develop both tolerance and physical dependence on Dilaudid and may need to be slowly weaned off the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Dilaudid should be used in pregnant women only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus or breastfeeding infant; the drug should not be used for labor or delivery; pregnant women taking the medication will usually cause the fetus/infant to be dependent on opioids and likely will have other effects on the infant. There are no Dilaudid studies on pediatric patients.
Our Dilaudid and Dilaudid Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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 is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Dilaudid in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
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.
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;
- itching; or
- sleep problems (insomnia), or strange dreams.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Dilaudid Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
To prevent constipation, eat a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. Ask your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative (such as a stimulant type with stool softener).
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: fainting, seizure, slow/shallow breathing, unusual drowsiness/difficulty waking up.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Dilaudid FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The major hazards of DILAUDID ORAL LIQUID and DILAUDID TABLETS include respiratory depression and apnea. To a lesser degree, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock and cardiac arrest have occurred.
The most frequently observed adverse effects are light-headedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, sweating, flushing, dysphoria, euphoria, dry mouth, and pruritus. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those not experiencing severe pain.
Less Frequently Observed Adverse Reactions
General and CNS
Weakness, headache, agitation, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, alterations of mood (nervousness, apprehension, depression, floating feelings, dreams), muscle rigidity, paresthesia, muscle tremor, blurred vision, nystagmus, diplopia and miosis, transient hallucinations and disorientation, visual disturbances, insomnia, increased intracranial pressure
Bronchospasm and laryngospasm
Urinary retention or hesitancy, antidiuretic effects
Urticaria, other skin rashes, diaphoresis
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride)
Additional Dilaudid Information
Dilaudid - User Reviews
Dilaudid User Reviews
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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