Dilaudid Side Effects

Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

Dilaudid is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Do not use Dilaudid 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 take Dilaudid if you have:

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

Do not take Dilaudid 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.

To make sure you can safely take Dilaudid, 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.

Dilaudid may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Never share Dilaudid 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.

You may not be able to take Dilaudid 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.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Dilaudid 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 Dilaudid. Hydromorphone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Dilaudid. Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.

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

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

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

Less serious Dilaudid side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • blurred vision, double vision;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • 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.

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