What is Hydromorphine?

What is Hydromorphine? drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehabilitation

Hydromorphine, as its name suggests, is an alternate drug of morphine with similar characteristics, side effects, dangers and withdrawal symptoms. It is a strong opioid analgesic drug that is prescribed to patients with moderate to severe chronic pain.


It is most commonly prescribed when morphine is no longer working on patients with very severe pain as it is nearly three times stronger than morphine and has a lower risk of dependence. However, it is still very addictive, while not quite as addictive as morphine and due to the high initial strength can cause some intense side effects and withdrawal symptoms by individuals who stop taking it.

Inpatients, who receive Hydromorphine for pain relief, often after surgery, will get it through their IV but patients administering the drug themselves at home will receive it in a pill form. One of the most common brand names of Hydromorphine is Dilaudid, which is a man-made synthetic form of Hydromorphine Hydromorphine can also be used as a narcotic anti-tussive used for persistent coughing as a result of bronchial irritation with may cause dry and painful coughs. No matter what the form or brand name, Hydromorphine can be very habit-forming and cause the individual to become dependent on it.

Hydromorphine Side Effects

There are a variety of adverse side effects experiences by people who use Hydromorphine for pain relief and pain management, much of them similar to the side effects of morphine. The most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness and lightheadedness, constipation, sweating and sedation. These side effects can be experienced by users of the drug who just began taking it and stick with the recommended dose, and they only become more severe as individuals become dependent on Hydromorphine and continue to use it in higher doses.

Because Hydromorphine causes some individuals to become dependent on the drug, they will use it for long periods of time which can lead to more long-term adverse effects. Individuals taking pain management medication such as Hydromorphine also build up a resistance to it, meaning they need to keep raising their dose and this leads to severe side effects such as a slow or irregular heartbeat, shallow breathing, muscle weakness, seizures and convulsions; all of which can be highly dangerous and some may be fatal with extremely high doses of the medication.

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