hydromorphone (injection)

Pronunciation: hy dro MOR fone

Brand: Dilaudid

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

MISUSE OF OPIOID MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine where others cannot get to it.

Using opioid medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use opioid medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

What is hydromorphone injection?

Hydromorphone injection is an opioid medicine 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?

You should not use hydromorphone if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine, or if you have:

  • severe asthma or breathing problems; or
  • a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

Do not use hydromorphone if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and others.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • breathing problems, sleep apnea;
  • a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
  • alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness;
  • urination problems;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • a sulfite allergy;
  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders; or
  • a pancreas disorder.

If you use opioid medicine during pregnancy, your baby could be born with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and may need medical treatment for several weeks.

Ask a doctor before using opioid medicine if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you notice severe drowsiness or slow breathing in the nursing baby.

How is hydromorphone injection given?

Hydromorphone is injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein.

Hydromorphone is usually given by injection only if you are unable to take medicine by mouth.

Never share opioid medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop using hydromorphone suddenly. Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

In a medical setting you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or person using opioid medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, slow breathing, or no breathing.

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

What should I avoid while receiving hydromorphone injection?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

What are the possible side effects of hydromorphone injection?

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

Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;
  • severe drowsiness;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or
  • low cortisol levels --nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and people who are debilitated or have wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation, nausea, vomiting;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • sweating, itching;
  • dry mouth; or
  • mood changes.

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?

Many other drugs can be dangerous when used with opioid medicine. Tell your doctor if you also use:

  • medicine for allergies, asthma, blood pressure, motion sickness, irritable bowel, or overactive bladder;
  • other opioid medicines;
  • a benzodiazepine sedative like Valium, Klonopin, or Xanax;
  • sleep medicine, muscle relaxers, or other drugs that make you drowsy; or
  • drugs that affect serotonin, such as antidepressants, stimulants, or medicine for migraines or Parkinson's disease.

This list is not complete. Many drugs may affect hydromorphone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

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

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