Hydromorphone oral liquid and tablets are used to relieve pain and sold under the brand name Dilaudid among others. The hydromorphone extended-release capsules and extended-release tablets are used to relieve pain in opioid-tolerant patients severe enough to require around-the-clock pain relief for a long period of time.
Hydromorphone extended-release capsules and extended-release tablets should not be used if you need pain medicine for just a short time, such as when recovering from surgery. Do not use this medicine to relieve mild pain. This medicine should not be used to treat pain that you only have once in a while or “as needed”.
Hydromorphone belongs to the group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.
When a narcotic medicine is used for a long time, it may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence. However, people who have continuing pain should not let the fear of dependence keep them from using narcotics to relieve their pain. Mental dependence (addiction) is not likely to occur when narcotics are used for this purpose. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects if treatment is stopped suddenly. However, severe withdrawal side effects can usually be prevented by gradually reducing the dose over a period of time before treatment is stopped completely.
This medicine is available only under a restricted distribution program called the Opioid Analgesic REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) program.
This product is available in the following dosage forms:
Tablet, Extended Release
Hydromorphone comes as a liquid, a tablet, and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The liquid is usually taken every 3 to 6 hours and the tablets are usually taken every 4 to 6 hours. The extended-release tablets are taken once daily with or without food.
All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not. Your doctor has weighed the risks of this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. Not everybody experiences them.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking DILAUDID tablets or oral liquid.
This medicine helps most people with moderate to severe pain, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people. Other side effects not listed here may also occur.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Mild abdominal problems such as feeling nauseous (feeling sick), loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea
- Dry mouth or changes in taste
- Feeling agitated, nervous, or anxious
- Have trouble sleeping
- The trouble with your balance
- Problems with your eyesight
- Skin rash, itching, or sweating
- Uncoordinated muscle movements and stiffness, tremor, tingling and numbness
- Feeling faint
- Swelling, including but not only, of the legs or ankles
- Erectile dysfunction.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Stomach discomfort or cramps, vomiting, indigestion or abdominal pain
- Changes in mood
- Light-headedness, fainting, or dizziness especially when standing up
- Drowsiness or feeling extremely sedated
- Feeling disorientated and having nightmares
- Slow or noticeable heartbeats
- Headache, confusion, or hallucinations
- Unusual weakness or loss of strength
- Difficulty passing urine, pain, or feeling the need to urinate urgently.
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical treatment.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- Your breathing slows or weakens
- You have an allergic reaction: shortness of breath, wheezing, shallow or difficulty breathing; swelling of the tongue, throat, face, lips or other parts of the body; rash, itching, or hives on the skin
- Seizures, fits, or convulsions
- Fast or irregular heartbeats.
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalization.
When seeking medical attention, take this leaflet and any remaining medicine with you to show the doctor.
- Keep your medicine in its original container in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C and protected from light.
- Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom, near a sink or on a window sill.
- Do not leave it in the car. Heat and damp can destroy some medicines.
- Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half meters above the ground is a good place to store medicines.