Generic Name: hydromorphone, Oral tablet

Dilaudid,Exalgo

All Brands

  • Dilaudid
  • Exalgo
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for hydromorphone

Oral tablet
1
HYDROMORPHONE (hye droe MOR fone) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
2
This drug also comes in other forms, including Parenteral SolutionOral SolutionRectal Suppository
3 4 5
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these conditions.
6
Know what to watch for and get tips for reducing your risks while taking this drug.
SECTION 2 of 4

hydromorphone Side Effects

Oral tablet

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • changes in vision
  • confusion
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • seizures
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • trouble with balance, talking, walking
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • difficulty sleeping
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • flushing
  • headache
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
SECTION 3 of 4

hydromorphone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet
  • alcohol
  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • medicines for anesthesia
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • naltrexone
  • narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • tramadol
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Use hydromorphone

Oral tablet

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take more medicine than you are told to take.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • brain tumor
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • head injury
  • heart disease
  • frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems
  • mental problems
  • an allergic or unusual reaction to lactose, hydromorphone, other opioid analgesics, other medicines, sulfites, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding
What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates) for pain. If you take more than one type at the same time, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing.

This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Protect from light.

This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if it is taken by other adults, children, or pets. Flush any unused medicine down the toilet to reduce the chance of harm. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.

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Last Updated: January 22, 2014

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