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Dilaudid Dosage

Generic name: hydromorphone hydrochloride 2mg
Dosage form: oral liquid, tablets

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Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 11, 2019.

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 to obtain a calibrated measuring cup/syringe for administering DILAUDID Oral Solution to ensure that the dose is measured and administered accurately.

Do not use household teaspoons or tablespoons to measure DILAUDID Oral Solution, as using a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon could lead to overdosage [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

  • Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5)].
  • Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient's severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
  • Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24 to 72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Initial Dosage

Initiating Treatment with DILAUDID Oral Solution or DILAUDID Tablets

Dilaudid Oral Solution

Initiate treatment with DILAUDID Oral Solution in a dosing range of one-half (2.5 mL) to two teaspoonsful (10 mL), 2.5 mg to 10 mg, every 3 to 6 hours as needed for pain.

Dilaudid Tablets

Initiate treatment with DILAUDID Tablets in a dosing range of 2 mg to 4 mg, orally, every 4 to 6 hours.

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 (2.4)].

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 hydrochloride is unknown, so conversion to extended-release tablets must be accompanied by close observation for signs of excessive sedation and respiratory depression.

Dosage Modifications in Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Initiate treatment with one-fourth to one-half the usual DILAUDID starting dose depending on the degree of impairment [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Dosage Modifications in Patients with Renal Impairment

Initiate treatment with one-fourth to one-half the usual DILAUDID starting dose depending on the degree of impairment [see Use in Specific Populations (8.7), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

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 and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2]. 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 unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.

For chronic pain, doses should be administered around-the-clock. 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

‚ÄčDo 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 dose of 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, monitor 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 a long duration 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 (5.13), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.