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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Hydromorphone (Injection)

Hydromorphone (Injection)

Hydromorphone (hye-droe-MOR-fone)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Belongs to a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics.

Brand Name(s):

Dilaudid, Dilaudid-HP
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to hydromorphone or to related narcotic pain-killers. You should not use hydromorphone if you have lung or breathing problems, or if you have an injury or wound inside your skull.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given.
  • An IM injection is a shot given in your muscle (upper arm, thigh, buttocks).
  • An SC injection is a shot given just under the skin, usually in the back of your upper arm or the top of your thigh.
  • An IV infusion is medicine that is put directly into your body through one of your veins.
  • This medicine should be given by a person trained to give IV or IM medicine. Sometimes you, a family member, or friend can be taught to give your medicine.
  • To avoid dizziness from this medicine, get up slowly from a lying or sitting position.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
  • Take the rest of your doses for the day at evenly spaced time intervals, then return to your normal schedule.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store your medicine at room temperature, away from heat and light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking medicine for diarrhea, an MAO inhibitor (Nardil®, Parnate®, Eldepryl®), or medicines that may make you sleepy such as cold or allergy medicines, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, or other pain killers.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while using hydromorphone.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you liver, kidney, gallbladder, or inflammatory bowel disease, an enlarged prostate, or trouble going to the bathroom.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. You should not use more than your doctor ordered, or use for longer periods of time than prescribed.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this medicine. You may need to take smaller and smaller amounts before stopping completely.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy or dizzy. Avoid driving or using machinery.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
  • Severe skin rash, itching, or hives
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble going to the bathroom (urinating)

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Dizziness, headache, or blurred vision
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Sweating, or cold, clammy skin
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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