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Drug Description of Dilaudid Pills (Hydromorphone)
Dilaudid is an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. Typically, long-term use is only recommended for pain due to cancer. It may be taken by mouth or by injection into a vein, muscle, or under the skin. Effects generally begin within half an hour and last for up to five hours.
Dilaudid Tablets are supplied in 2 mg, 4 mg, and 8 mg tablets for oral administration. The tablet strengths describe the amount of hydromorphone hydrochloride in each tablet.
Dilaudid Oral Solution is supplied as 5mg/5 mL (1 mg/mL) viscous liquid.
Dilaudid Oral Solution and Tablets are indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
Dosage and Administration
Dilaudid Oral Solution
Initiate treatment with Oral Solution in a dosing range of one-half (2.5 mL) to two teaspoonful (10 mL), 2.5 mg to 10 mg, every 3 to 6 hours as needed for pain.
Initiate treatment with Dilaudid Tablets in a dosing range of 2 mg to 4 mg, orally, every 4 to 6 hours.
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 Oral Solution or Tablets. It is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour dosage than to overestimate the 24-hour dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to overdose.
Firstly, 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.
Secondly, 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,
Thirdly, use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals
In conclusion, 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
Side Effects of Use
Common side effects include dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, itchiness, and constipation. Serious side effects may include abuse, low blood pressure, seizures, respiratory depression, and serotonin syndrome. Rapidly decreasing the dose may result in opioid withdrawal. Generally, use during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended. Hydromorphone is believed to work by activating opioid receptors, mainly in the brain and spinal cord. Hydromorphone 2 mg by mouth is equivalent to approximately 10 mg morphine by mouth.[