Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 8, 2024.
Important Dosage and Administration Instructions
Ensure accuracy when prescribing, dispensing, and administering DILAUDID Oral Solution to avoid dosing errors due to confusion between mg and mL, which could result in accidental overdose and death. Ensure the proper dose is communicated and dispensed. When writing prescriptions, include both the total dose in mg and the total dose in volume.
Instruct patients and caregivers on how to accurately measure and take or administer the correct dose of DILAUDID Oral Solution.
Strongly advise patients and caregivers to always use a graduated oral syringe or measuring cup, with metric units of measurements (i.e., mL), to correctly measure the prescribed amount of medication.
Inform patients and caregivers that oral dosing devices may be obtained from their pharmacy and to never use household teaspoons or tablespoons to measure DILAUDID Oral Solution.
- DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets should be prescribed only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about the use of opioids and how to mitigate the associated risks.
- Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration of time consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5)]. Because the risk of overdose increases as opioid doses increase, reserve titration to higher doses of DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets for patients in whom lower doses are insufficiently effective and in whom the expected benefits of using a higher dose opioid clearly outweigh the substantial risks.
- Many acute pain conditions (e.g., the pain that occurs with a number of surgical procedures or acute musculoskeletal injuries) require no more than a few days of an opioid analgesic. Clinical guidelines on opioid prescribing for some acute pain conditions are available.
- There is variability in the opioid analgesic dose and duration needed to adequately manage pain due both to the cause of pain and to individual patient factors. Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient's underlying cause and severity of pain, prior analgesic treatment and response, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
- Respiratory depression can occur at any time during opioid therapy, especially when initiating and following dosage increases with DILAUDID Oral Solutions and DILAUDID Tablets. Consider this risk when selecting an initial dose and when making dose adjustments [see Warnings and Precautions (2.1, 5)].
- Initiate treatment with DILAUDID Oral Solution in a dosing range of 2.5 mL to 10 mL, 2.5 mg to 10 mg, every 3 to 6 hours as needed for pain, and at the lowest dose necessary to achieve adequate analgesia. Titrate the dose based upon the individual patient's response to their initial dose of DILAUDID Oral Solution [see Dosage and Administration (2) and Warnings and Precautions (5)].
- Initiate treatment with DILAUDID Tablets in a dosing range of 2 mg to 4 mg, orally, every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain, and at the lowest dose necessary to achieve adequate analgesia. Titrate the dose based upon the individual patient's response to their initial dose of DILAUDID Tablets [see Dosage and Administration (2) and Warnings and Precautions (5)].
Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose
Discuss the availability of naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose with the patient and caregiver and assess the potential need for access to naloxone, both when initiating and renewing treatment with DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Inform patients and caregivers about the various ways to obtain naloxone as permitted by individual state naloxone dispensing and prescribing requirements or guidelines (e.g., by prescription, directly from a pharmacist, or as part of a community-based program).
Consider prescribing naloxone, based on the patient's risk factors for overdose, such as concomitant use of CNS depressants, a history of opioid use disorder, or prior opioid overdose. The presence of risk factors for overdose should not prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3, 5.4)].
Consider prescribing naloxone if the patient has household members (including children) or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or overdose.
Initiating Treatment with DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets
Dilaudid Oral Solution
Initiate treatment with DILAUDID Oral Solution in a dosing range of 2.5 mL to 10 mL, 2.5 mg to 10 mg, every 3 to 6 hours as needed for pain, and at the lowest dose necessary to achieve adequate analgesia. Titrate the dose based upon the individual patient's response to their initial dose of DILAUDID Oral Solution.
Initiate treatment with DILAUDID Tablets in a dosing range of 2 mg to 4 mg, orally, every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain, and at the lowest dose necessary to achieve adequate analgesia. Titrate the dose based upon the individual patient's response to their initial dose of DILAUDID Tablets.
Conversion from Other Opioids to DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets
There is inter-patient variability in the potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations. Therefore, a conservative approach is advised when determining the total daily dosage of DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets. It is safer to underestimate a patient's 24-hour DILAUDID dosage than to overestimate the 24-hour dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to overdose.
In general, it is safest to start DILAUDID therapy by administering half of the usual starting dose every 3 to 6 hours for DILAUDID Oral Solution; and every 4 to 6 hours for DILAUDID Tablets. The dose of DILAUDID can be gradually adjusted until adequate pain relief and acceptable side effects have been achieved [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)].
Conversion from DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets to Extended-Release Hydromorphone Hydrochloride
The relative bioavailability of DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets compared to extended-release hydromorphone is unknown, so conversion to extended-release hydromorphone may lead to increased risk of excessive sedation and respiratory depression.
Dosage Modifications in Patients with Hepatic Impairment
Dosage Modifications in Patients with Renal Impairment
Titration and Maintenance of Therapy
Individually titrate DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets to assess the maintenance of pain control, signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal, and other adverse reactions, as well as to reassess for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.14)]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration.
If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets dosage. If after increasing the dosage, unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed (including an increase in pain after a dosage increase), consider reducing the dosage [see Warnings and Precautions (5)]. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.
A supplemental dose of 5 to 15% of the total daily usage may be administered every two hours on an as-needed basis.
Safe Reduction or Discontinuation of DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets
Do not abruptly discontinue DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets in patients who may be physically dependent on opioids. Rapid discontinuation of opioid analgesics in patients who are physically dependent on opioids has resulted in serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may also attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.
When a decision has been made to decrease the dose or discontinue therapy in an opioid dependent patient taking DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets, there are a variety of factors that should be considered, including the total daily dose of opioid (including DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets) the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, the type of pain being treated, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. It is important to ensure ongoing care of the patient and to agree on an appropriate tapering schedule and follow-up plan so that patient and provider goals and expectations are clear and realistic. When opioid analgesics are being discontinued due to a suspected substance use disorder, evaluate and treat the patient, or refer for evaluation and treatment of the substance use disorder. Treatment should include evidence-based approaches, such as medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. Complex patients with co-morbid pain and substance use disorders may benefit from referral to a specialist.
There are no standard opioid tapering schedules that are suitable for all patients. Good clinical practice dictates a patient-specific plan to taper the dose of the opioid gradually. For patients on DILAUDID Oral Solution and DILAUDID Tablets who are physically opioid-dependent, initiate the taper by a small enough increment (e.g., no greater than 10% to 25% of the total daily dose) to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and proceed with dose-lowering at an interval of every 2 to 4 weeks. Patients who have been taking opioids for briefer periods of time may tolerate a more rapid taper.
It may be necessary to provide the patient with lower dosage strengths to accomplish a successful taper. Reassess the patient frequently to manage pain and withdrawal symptoms, should they emerge. Common withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and symptoms also may develop, including irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate. If withdrawal symptoms arise, it may be necessary to pause the taper for a period of time or raise the dose of the opioid analgesic to the previous dose, and then proceed with a slower taper. In addition, evaluate patients for any changes in mood, emergence of suicidal thoughts, or use of other substances.
When managing patients taking opioid analgesics, particularly those who have been treated for an extended period of time, and/or with high doses for chronic pain, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper. A multimodal approach to pain management may optimize the treatment of chronic pain, as well as assist with the successful tapering of the opioid analgesic [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
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