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hydromorphone (injection)

Pronunciation: hy dro MOR fone

Brand: Dilaudid, Dilaudid-HP

What is the most important information I should know about hydromorphone injection?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine, if you have paralytic ileus (a bowel obstruction), or if you are having an asthma attack.

Multum habit

Hydromorphone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Multum noalcohol

Do not drink alcohol while you are receiving hydromorphone. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with a narcotic pain medicine.

Multum dizzy

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how hydromorphone will affect you.

Multum donot

Do not stop using hydromorphone suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using hydromorphone.

What is hydromorphone injection?

Hydromorphone is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

Hydromorphone injection is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Hydromorphone injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving hydromorphone injection?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, morphine, Lortab, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and many others).

You should also not use hydromorphone injection if you have:

  • a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus; or
  • if you are having an asthma attack.
Multum donot

Do not use hydromorphone if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

You may not be able to use hydromorphone injection unless you are already being treated with a similar opioid pain medicine and your body is tolerant to it. Opioid medicines include fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), methadone (Methadose, Dolophine), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), oxycodone (Oxycontin), oxymorphone (Opana), and many others. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.

To make sure you can safely use hydromorphone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • sulfite allergy;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • underactive thyroid;
  • curvature of the spine;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • low blood pressure;
  • gallbladder disease or pancreatitis;
  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;
  • mental illness;
  • a history of alcoholism or drug addiction; or
  • if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
Multum habit

Hydromorphone may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Never share hydromorphone with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether hydromorphone will harm an unborn baby. Hydromorphone may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother uses the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using hydromorphone.

Multum nobrfeed

Hydromorphone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using hydromorphone.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.

How is hydromorphone injection given?

Use exactly as prescribed. Never use hydromorphone in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Hydromorphone is injected under the skin or into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Hydromorphone injected into a vein must be given slowly, and the IV infusion should take at least 2 to 3 minutes to complete.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Your dose needs may be different if you have recently used an opioid pain medicine and your body is tolerant to it.

You may need to mix hydromorphone with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

Multum donot

Do not use hydromorphone if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Multum emt

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using hydromorphone. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Multum donot

Do not stop using hydromorphone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using hydromorphone.

Multum rt

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Hydromorphone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription. After you have stopped using this medication, flush any unused medicine down the toilet.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since hydromorphone is used on an as needed basis, you are not likely to miss a dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of hydromorphone can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, cold and clammy skin, slow heart rate, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting, or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while receiving hydromorphone injection?

Multum noalcohol

Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medication. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with hydromorphone. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.

Multum dizzy

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how hydromorphone will affect you.

Multum dizzy

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

What are the possible side effects of hydromorphone injection?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • weak or shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out.;
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • confusion, severe weakness or drowsiness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • blurred vision, double vision;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • pain where the injection was given;
  • dry mouth;
  • sweating, itching; or;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), or strange dreams.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect hydromorphone injection?

Multum donot

Do not use hydromorphone with any other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex);
  • butorphanol (Stadol);
  • nalbuphine (Nubain);
  • pentazocine (Talwin);
  • atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine), belladonna (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm Scop);
  • bladder or urinary medicines such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
  • bronchodilators such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • irritable bowel medicines such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Hyomax), or propantheline (Pro Banthine); or
  • ulcer medications such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul) or mepenzolate (Cantil).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with hydromorphone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about hydromorphone injection.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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