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Dilaudid Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
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. Dilaudid is available in generic form. Common side effects of Dilaudid include
- flushing (warmth,
- redness, or tingling of skin),
- stomach pain,
- blurred vision,
- double vision,
- sleep problems (insomnia),
- strange dreams, and
- dry mouth.
Serious side effects of Dilaudid include
- shallow, weak, or very slow breathing,
- trouble breathing,
- slow heart rate,
- lightheadedness or fainting,
- seizures (convulsions),
- cold clammy skin,
- pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest,
- severe weakness or drowsiness,
- mental/mood changes (such as agitations, confusion, hallucinations),
- severe stomach or abdominal pain,
- difficulty urinating, or
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 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. Dilaudid may interact with alcohol, other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing, buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, atropine, belladonna, benztropine, dimenhydrinate, methscopolamine, scopolamine, bladder or urinary medicines, bronchodilators, irritable bowel medicines, or ulcer medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. 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 following serious adverse reactions are described, or described in greater detail, in other sections:
- Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Interactions with Benzodiazepines and Other CNS Depressants [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Adrenal Insufficiency [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Severe Hypotension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Seizures [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Withdrawal [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
The following adverse reactions associated with the use of hydromorphone were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because some of these reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Serious adverse reactions associated with DILAUDID INJECTION and DILAUDID-HP INJECTION include respiratory depression and apnea and, to a lesser degree, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock, and cardiac arrest.
The most common adverse effects are lightheadedness, 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
Gastrointestinal disorders: constipation, ileus, diarrhea, abdominal pain
General disorders and administration site conditions: weakness, feeling abnormal, chills, injection site urticaria, fatigue, injection site reactions, peripheral edema
Hepatobiliary disorders: biliary colic
Immune system disorders: anaphylactic reactions, hypersensitivity reactions
Investigations: hepatic enzymes increased
Metabolism and nutrition disorders: decreased appetite
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: muscle rigidity
Nervous system disorders: headache, tremor, paraesthesia, nystagmus, increased intracranial pressure, syncope, taste alteration, involuntary muscle contractions, presyncope, convulsion, drowsiness, dyskinesia, hyperalgesia, lethargy, myoclonus, somnolence
Renal and urinary disorders: urinary retention, urinary hesitation, antidiuretic effects
Reproductive system and breast disorders: erectile dysfunction
Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders: bronchospasm, laryngospasm, dyspnea, oropharyngeal swelling
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: injection site pain, urticaria, rash, hyperhidrosis
Vascular disorders: flushing, hypotension, hypertension
Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.
Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.
Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in DILAUDID INJECTION and DILAUDID-HP INJECTION.
Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
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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