Prescription Drugs BLOG

Dilaudid is the trade name of hydromorphone hydrochloride which is a hydrogenated ketone of morphine that is used as an opioid analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain. White coat clad chaps call it 4, 5α-epoxy-3-hydroxy-17 methylmorphinan-6-one hydrochloride in their language.

Some bacteria have been shown to be able to turn morphine into hydromorphone. As reported in the July 1993 issue of Applied Environmental Bacteriology, the bacterium Pseudomonas putida, serotype M10, a naturally occurring NADH-dependent morphinone reductase which lives in an aqueous solution containing morphine, forms a significant amount of hydromophone as an intermediary metabolite. Same way, codeine may also be turned into hydrocodone.

Dilaudid Prescription, Dosage & Administration:

Dilaudid, a narcotic analgesic, is prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain 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 etc.

Hydromorphone comes as a tablet and also in liquid form & thus can be taken orally. It also comes as a rectal suppository. Each 5 ml of Dilaudid oral liquid usually contains 5 mg of hydromorphone hydrochloride. In addition, other ingredients may include purified water, methylparaben, propylparaben, sucrose, and glycerin. Dilaudid oral liquid may contain traces of sodium metabisulfite. Although, dosage is adjusted by physician according to the severity of the pain and the response of the patient, however, frequently, oral forms are taken every 4-6 hours while the suppository is usually used every 6-8 hours.

Dilaudid Abuse:

Hydromorphone has been observed to be one of those habit-forming narcotics. Hydromorphone is largely abused in US and is subject to criminal diversion. So, you should never take a larger dose than what is prescribed by your physician. Taking it more often or for a longer period than what your doctor tells you to is equally harmful and must be avoided at all costs.

Effects of Dilaudid Abuse:

Adverse effects of hydromorphone i.e. Dilaudid are similar to those of other opioid analgesics, and represent an extension of pharmacological effects of the opioid drug class. The major hazards of hydromorphone include respiratory and CNS depression. The most frequently observed adverse effects are sedation, nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness and sweating.

To a lesser degree, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock and cardiac arrest have occurred. These effects can be exaggerated by dose dumping if the medication is taken with alcohol.

Physical Dependence on Dilaudid:

Opioid analgesics such as Dilaudid may cause psychological and physical dependence. Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms in patients who abruptly discontinue the drug. Physical dependence usually does not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several weeks of continued opioid usage, but it may occur after as little as a week of opioid use. Physical dependence and tolerance are separate and distinct from abuse and addiction.


If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Dilaudid or narcotic painkillers, you should not take this medication.

Additionally, you should not take Dilaudid if you suffer from severe, uncontrolled breathing difficulties or uncontrolled asthma.

Dilaudid cannot be used in pregnant women during labor or delivery.

To limit abuse of opioid drugs like Dilaudid it is necessary to properly assess the patient, employ proper prescription practices, periodically re-evaluate the opioid therapy, and properly dispense and store the drugs.

Demerol Testing:

As with other drugs, a diverse array of techniques is available to test for Dilaudid abuse. As anticipated, some amount of Dilaudid remains unchanged while rest of it forms different metabolites.

These unchanged Dilaudid or Dilaudid derivatives and their metabolized products can be detected using any of the following methods:
    • Dilaudid/metabolite-specific antibody-based diagnostic kits