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Pronounced: Dye-LAW-did
Generic name: Hydromorphone hydrochloride

Why is this drug prescribed: Dilaudid, a narcotic analgesic, is prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain such as that due to: Biliary colic (pain caused by an obstruction in the gallbladder or bile duct) Burns Cancer Heart attack Injury (soft tissue and bone) Renal colic (sharp lower back and groin pain usually caused by the passage of a stone through the ureter) Surgery

Most important fact about this drug: High dose tolerance leading to mental and physical dependence can occur with the use of Dilaudid when it is taken repeatedly. Physical dependence (need for continual doses to prevent withdrawal symptoms) can occur after only a few days of narcotic use, although it usually takes several weeks.

How should you take this medication: Take Dilaudid exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never increase the amount you take without your doctor's approval. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose. --Storage instructions... Tablets and liquid should be stored at room temperature. Protect from light and extreme cold or heat. Suppositories should be stored in the refrigerator.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Dilaudid. More common side effects may include: Anxiety, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, fear, impairment of mental and physical performance, inability to urinate, mental clouding, mood changes, nausea, restlessness, sedation, sluggishness, troubled and slowed breathing, vomiting Less common side effects may include: Agitation, blurred vision, chills, cramps, diarrhea, difficulty urinating, disorientation, double vision, dry mouth, exaggerated feelings of depression or well-being, failure of breathing or heartbeat, faintness/fainting, flushing, hallucinations, headache, increased pressure in the head, insomnia, involuntary eye movements, itching, light-headedness, loss of appetite, low or high blood pressure, muscle rigidity or tremor, muscle spasms of the throat or air passages, palpitations, rashes, shock, slow or rapid heartbeat, small pupils, sudden dizziness on standing, sweating, taste changes, tingling and/or numbness, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, visual disturbances, weakness

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Dilaudid or narcotic painkillers you should not take this medication. Make sure that your doctor is aware of any drug reactions that you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: Dilaudid may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. Dilaudid should be used with caution if you are in a weakened condition or if you have a severe liver or kidney disorder, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), Addison's disease (adrenal gland failure), an enlarged prostate, a urethral stricture (narrowing of the urethra), low blood pressure or a head injury. Dilaudid suppresses the cough reflex; therefore, the doctor will be cautious about prescribing Dilaudid after an operation or for patients with a lung disease. High doses of Dilaudid may produce labored or slowed breathing. This drug also affects centers that control breathing rhythm and may produce irregular breathing. People who already have breathing difficulties should be very careful about taking Dilaudid. Narcotics such as Dilaudid may mask or hide the symptoms of sudden or severe abdominal conditions, making diagnosis and treatment difficult. Dilaudid can cause seizures when taken in high doses and, if you have a seizure disorder, can make the seizures worse.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Dilaudid is a central nervous system depressant and intensifies the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. If Dilaudid is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Dilaudid with the following: Antiemetics (drugs that prevent or lessen nausea and vomiting such as Compazine and Phenergan) Antihistamines such as Benadryl General anesthetics Other central nervous system depressants such as Nembutal, Restoril Other narcotic analgesics such as Demerol and Percocet Phenothiazines such as Thorazine Sedative/hypnotics such as Valium, Halcion Tranquilizers such as Xanax Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Do not take Dilaudid if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant unless you are directed to do so by your doctor. Drug dependence occurs in newborns when the mother has taken narcotic drugs regularly during pregnancy. Withdrawal signs include irritability and excessive crying, tremors, overactive reflexes, increased breathing rate, increased stools, sneezing, yawning, vomiting, and fever. Dilaudid may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding your baby until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Tablets The usual starting dose of Dilaudid tablets is 2 to 4 milligrams every 4 to 6 hours as determined by your doctor. Severity of pain, your individual response, and your size are used to determine your exact dosage. Liquid The usual dose of Dilaudid liquid is 1/2 to 2 teaspoonfuls every 3 to 6 hours. In some cases, the dosage may be higher. Suppositories Dilaudid suppositories (3 milligrams) may provide relief for a longer period of time. The usual adult dose is 1 suppository inserted rectally every 6 to 8 hours or as directed by your doctor. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Dilaudid have not been established in children. OLDER ADULTS: Be very careful when using Dilaudid. Your doctor will prescribe a dose individualized to suit your needs.

Overdosage: Symptoms of Dilaudid overdose include: Bluish tinge to skin, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, coma, extreme sleepiness progressing to a state of unresponsiveness, labored or slowed breathing, limp, weak muscles, low blood pressure, slow heart rate In severe overdosage, the patient may stop breathing. Shock, heart attack, and death can occur. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

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