Hydromorphone tablets

Pronunciation

Generic Name: hydromorphone (HYE-droe-MOR-fone)
Brand Name: Dilaudid

Hydromorphone tablets is a narcotic pain reliever that may become habit-forming. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, take for longer than prescribed, or take more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.

Hydromorphone tablets may also cause severe breathing problems. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol, with other narcotic pain relievers, or with certain other medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may add to this effect. Contact your doctor right away if you experience slow or shallow breathing.


Hydromorphone tablets is used for:

Treating pain in certain patients.

Hydromorphone tablets is an opioid (narcotic) analgesic. It works in the brain and nervous system to reduce pain.

Do NOT use hydromorphone tablets if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in hydromorphone tablets
  • you have difficult or slowed breathing, severe asthma, or you are having an asthma attack
  • you have known or suspected bowel blockage (paralytic ileus)
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using hydromorphone tablets:

Some medical conditions may interact with hydromorphone tablets. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had an allergic reaction to any other narcotic pain relievers (eg, codeine, morphine, oxycodone)
  • if you have a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, sleep apnea), seizures (eg, epilepsy), adrenal gland problems (eg, Addison disease), an enlarged prostate, heart problems (eg, cor pulmonale), low blood pressure, dehydration, low blood volume, thyroid problems, urinary blockage or trouble urinating, curvature of the spine, low blood oxygen levels (hypoxia), or high blood carbon dioxide levels (hypercapnia)
  • if you have severe drowsiness, a recent head injury, growths in the brain (eg, lesions, tumors), or increased pressure in the head
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, gallbladder problems, pancreas problems, or stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammation, pseudomembranous colitis), or if you have had recent stomach or bowel surgery
  • if you drink alcohol or have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
  • if you have a personal or family history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression), suicidal thoughts or attempts, alcohol abuse, or other substance abuse or dependence
  • if you have stomach pain; if you are in poor health; if you will be having surgery; or if you are in shock caused by heart problems, blood vessel problems, or severe bleeding
  • if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) or have taken one within the last 14 days

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with hydromorphone tablets. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticholinergics (eg, scopolamine, oxybutynin) because the risk of trouble urinating and severe constipation may be increased
  • Phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
  • MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), other narcotic pain relievers (eg, codeine, morphine, oxycodone), sodium oxybate (GHB), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of severe drowsiness may be increased
  • Agonist/antagonist analgesics (eg, buprenorphine, butorphanol, pentazocine) or naltrexone because they may decrease hydromorphone tablets's effectiveness and withdrawal may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if hydromorphone tablets may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use hydromorphone tablets:

Use hydromorphone tablets as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Hydromorphone tablets may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Hydromorphone tablets must only be taken by mouth.
  • If you are taking hydromorphone tablets for persistent pain, take it on a regular schedule to help control the pain more effectively.
  • If you have been taking hydromorphone tablets regularly, do NOT suddenly stop taking it without checking with your doctor. If you have been taking hydromorphone tablets for more than a few weeks and your doctor tells you to stop taking it, your dose may need to be gradually lowered as directed by your doctor to avoid side effects.
  • If hydromorphone tablets is no longer needed, dispose of the unused tablets as soon as possible by flushing them down the toilet. You may also check with your pharmacist for other ways to dispose of hydromorphone tablets.
  • If you miss a dose of hydromorphone tablets and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your health care provider. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use hydromorphone tablets.

Important safety information:

  • Hydromorphone tablets may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol, other opiate pain medicines, or certain other medicines. Use hydromorphone tablets with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you take hydromorphone tablets.
  • Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you take hydromorphone tablets; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Hydromorphone tablets may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • The risk of hydromorphone tablets becoming habit-forming may be greater if you take it in high doses or for a long time. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Do NOT change your dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Some of these products contain sulfites. Sulfites may cause an allergic reaction in some patients (eg, asthma patients). If you have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, ask your pharmacist if this product has sulfites in it.
  • Hydromorphone tablets may cause constipation. To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. Talk to your doctor about using laxatives or stool softeners to prevent or treat constipation while you use hydromorphone tablets.
  • If your pain continues or becomes worse or if you have side effects that concern you, contact your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take hydromorphone tablets before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use hydromorphone tablets with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness and breathing problems.
  • Hydromorphone tablets should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using hydromorphone tablets while you are pregnant. Hydromorphone tablets is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking hydromorphone tablets.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, hydromorphone tablets may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if hydromorphone tablets stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

Some people who use hydromorphone tablets for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. Dependence is unlikely to be an issue in terminally ill patients where comfort is more important. If you are taking hydromorphone tablets regularly, do not suddenly stop taking it without checking with your doctor. WITHDRAWAL symptoms have occurred when hydromorphone tablets is suddenly stopped and may include anxiety; diarrhea; fever, runny nose, or sneezing; goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations; nausea and vomiting; pain; rigid muscles; seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there; shivering or tremors; sweating; and trouble sleeping. Contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms after stopping hydromorphone tablets.

Possible side effects of hydromorphone tablets:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; dizziness, drowsiness; dry mouth; flushing; light-headedness; nausea; sweating; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes; seizure; severe or persistent constipation, headache, stomach pain, or vomiting; severe or persistent dizziness or drowsiness; shallow, slowed, or difficult breathing; tremor; trouble urinating; uncontrolled eye movements; uncoordinated muscle movements; vision changes (eg, blurred vision).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include bluish skin; chest pain; cold and clammy skin; coma; difficult, slow, or shallow breathing; excessive sweating; fainting; limp muscles; nausea and vomiting; pinpoint pupils; seizures; severe drowsiness or dizziness; slow or irregular heartbeat.

Proper storage of hydromorphone tablets:

Store hydromorphone tablets at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store hydromorphone tablets in the bathroom. Keep hydromorphone tablets out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about hydromorphone tablets, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Hydromorphone tablets is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take hydromorphone tablets or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about hydromorphone tablets. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to hydromorphone tablets. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using hydromorphone tablets.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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