HomeNutritionDilaudid What it is and why a Dr. would prescribe it

Dilaudid What it is and why a Dr. would prescribe it


Dilaudid is the brand name of a strong analgesic prescribed for relief from pain and sometimes from cough. The generic name is Hydromorphone, which belongs to the family of narcotic pain relievers.  Also known as opioids, this narcotic pain reliever has effects similar to morphine. Dilaudid is available as an injection, in tablet, rectal suppository, as well as liquid forms. Taken in any of the mentioned forms, Dilaudid needs to be administered with caution, as overdoses may prove hazardous.

The dosage of opioid analgesics is individualized for each patient, as complete relief may not take place when adverse events occur. After comprehensive assessment of the nature of the pain -its severity, etiology, frequency, and pathophysiology- the doctor decides on a dosage in concurrence to the medical status of the patient.

Usually prescribed for immediate relief from continuous pain, the drug is injected into the buttock, hip or any large muscle, into an intravenous fluid that will enter the vein dripping through a needle or through a catheter placed under your skin or in the vein.  The oral form of Dilaudid contains hydromorphone hydrochloride, plus other ingredients such as purified water, propylparaben, methylparaben, glycerin, and sucrose.

Oral dosage of Dilaudid for adults ranges from 2.5 ml to two teaspoonfuls every 3 to 6 hours. However, higher dosages may be prescribed by the doctor depending on the patient’s clinical condition. In the tablet form, Dilaudid 2 mg, 4 mg and 8 mg. The usual starting dose is 2 mg to 4 mg tablet taken orally once every 4 to 6 hours. Caution and careful clinical evaluation is required when 8 mg tablets are prescribed. If the analgesia proves to be inadequate, the doctor may suggest a gradual increase in dosage. Inadequacy of analgesia can occur due to increase in the severity of pain or as tolerance develops.

For patients who are non-opioid-tolerant, hydromorphone therapy is typically initiated with 2-4 mg tablet, every four hours with an exception to elderly patients who require lower doses. Patients receiving opioids need varied doses of analgesia and the duration also varies according to the patient’s opioid tolerance. Since hydromorphone affects patients with hepatic and renal impairment, a very low dose should be started on and increased, depending on the severity of the problem.

Frequently observed side effects in patients taking Dilaudid include light-headedness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, flushing, dry mouth, dysphoria, euphoria, and pruritus. Other side effects seen are respiratory depression, apnea, shock, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, and sometimes cardiac arrest. There have also been reports of CNS such as agitation, weakness, headache, uncoordinated muscle movements, tremor, mood swings; cardiovascular effects such as bradycardia, palpitation, chills, tachycardia, faintness, hypertension, syncope and hypotension; gastrointestinal adverse effects like diarrhea, constipation, biliary tract spasm, cramps, ileus, anorexia, and taste alteration. Respiratory depression is a common side effect among the elderly, the incapacitated, and those suffering from conditions linked with hypoxia and hypercapnia.

Before taking Dilaudid, patients must inform the doctor about any present or planned pregnancy or surgery. Even in the case of a dental surgery or sterilization, the patient must inform the doctor about his use of Dilaudid. The patient’s nature of job should be known to the doctor, as the drowsiness caused by the drug could prove risky for car drivers and operators of large and heavy machinery. Also inform the doctor about:

  • Any prescription and nonprescription medications the patient may be taking
  • Any kidney, liver, thyroid or heart disease
  • Seizures, asthma, or bronchitis
  • Prostatic hypertrophy; or urinary problems.
  • Pregnant- present or planned
  • Nursing infants

Patients receiving Dilaudid need to look out and inform the doctor, for the following symptoms of catheter-related infection:

  • tenderness
  • warmth
  • irritation
  • drainage
  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain

Dilaudid belongs to the family of opioid analgesics and can cause psychological and physical dependence. In patients who abruptly discontinue the drug, withdrawal symptoms are common.  Similar to other opioid agonists, Dilaudid can also be abused or misused. This morphine-type drug is sought by people with addiction disorders, drug abusers and those subject to criminal diversion. Prescribers of Dilaudid should monitor patients for signs of abuse, addiction and misuse. Though administration of Dilaudid is allowed in people with a personal or family history of alchohol or drug abuse and mental illness, intensive monitoring is required to detect signs of misuse or abuse.

Source by jerry

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