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All about: Hydromorphone

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

Hydromorphone is used for:

Treating severe pain in certain patients.

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

Do NOT use Hydromorphone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Hydromorphone or any other codeine or morphine related medicine (eg, morphine, codeine, oxycodone)
  • you have difficult or slowed breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or right-sided heart problems (cor pulmonale), or you are having a severe asthma attack
  • you are in labor
  • you have severe diarrhea or other bowel problems caused by antibiotics or poisoning
  • you have a brain injury or growths in the brain along with increased pressure in the brain
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)

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

Before using Hydromorphone :

Some medical conditions may interact with Hydromorphone . Tell your health care provider 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 are allergic to latex
  • if you have a history of lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis), seizures (eg, epilepsy), adrenal gland problems, an enlarged prostate, heart problems, low blood pressure, dehydration, low blood volume, an underactive thyroid, or urinary blockage
  • if you have severe drowsiness, a recent head injury, spinal problems, growths in the brain, or increased pressure in the brain
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammation), or if you have had recent stomach or bowel surgery
  • if you drink alcohol regularly, have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, or have a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • if you have a personal or family history of mental or mood problems, alcohol abuse, or other substance abuse or dependence
  • if you are in poor health or shock, or will be having surgery

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

  • Phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
  • Barbiturate anesthetics (eg, thiopental), cimetidine, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of severe drowsiness, coma, or slowed or difficult breathing may be increased
  • Agonist/antagonist analgesics (eg, pentazocine) or naltrexone because they may decrease Hydromorphone '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 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 :

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

  • Hydromorphone is usually given at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Hydromorphone at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Hydromorphone . Follow the procedures you were taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Hydromorphone if it is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you are taking Hydromorphone for persistent pain, take it on a regular schedule to help control the pain more effectively.
  • Do not change your dose or suddenly stop taking Hydromorphone without checking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Hydromorphone and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or 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 .

Important safety information:

  • Hydromorphone may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol, other opiate pain medicines, or certain other medicines. Use Hydromorphone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you take Hydromorphone ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Hydromorphone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, 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.
  • Hydromorphone may be habit forming. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Misuse or abuse of Hydromorphone may cause severe side effects, including severe breathing problems, seizures, coma, and possibly death.
  • Constipation is a common side effect of Hydromorphone . Talk to your doctor about using laxatives or stool softeners to prevent or treat constipation while you use Hydromorphone .
  • 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 before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use Hydromorphone with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness and breathing problems.
  • Hydromorphone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Hydromorphone may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Hydromorphone while you are pregnant. Hydromorphone is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Hydromorphone .

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, Hydromorphone 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 stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

Some people who use Hydromorphone 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 regularly, do not suddenly stop taking it without checking with your doctor. WITHDRAWAL symptoms have occurred when Hydromorphone 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 .

Possible side effects of Hydromorphone :

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; lightheadedness; 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); fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes; seizure; severe or persistent dizziness or drowsiness; severe or persistent headache or vomiting; shallow, slowed, or difficult breathing; tremor; trouble urinating; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include bluish skin; chest pain; cold/clammy skin; coma; difficult or slow breathing; excessive sweating; limp muscles; nausea and vomiting; numbness of an arm or leg; pinpoint pupils; seizures; severe drowsiness or dizziness; slow or irregular heartbeat.

Proper storage of Hydromorphone :

Store Hydromorphone at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Do not store Hydromorphone in the bathroom. Keep Hydromorphone out of the reach of children and away from pets. Once Hydromorphone is no longer needed, dispose of it by flushing it down the toilet.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Hydromorphone , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Hydromorphone 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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Hydromorphone . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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