Hydromorphone (By mouth)
Treats moderate to severe pain. This medicine is a narcotic pain reliever.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
Long Acting Capsule, Liquid, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet
- Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. An overdose can be dangerous. Follow directions carefully so you do not get too much medicine at one time.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- If you take the extended-release tablet, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
- If you get any of the liquid medicine on your skin, rinse it with cool water right away.
- Hydromorphone extended-release capsules or tablets work differently than regular hydromorphone tablets, even at the same dose. Do not switch from one form to another unless your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
- Missed dose:
- Extended-release capsules or tablets: If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time the next day. Do not double doses.
- Liquid: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the medicine in a safe and secure place. Do not throw unused medicine in the trash. Flush it down the toilet, or take it to a community take-back program if available.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Some medicines can affect how hydromorphone works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
- A phenothiazine medicine
- An MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days
- Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol. Tell your doctor if you are also using buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, or a muscle relaxer.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease or breathing problems (such as asthma or COPD), low blood pressure, an underactive thyroid, Addison disease, cystic fibrosis, pancreas problems, gallbladder problems, an enlarged prostate, trouble urinating, or stomach or bowel problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of head injury, brain tumor, seizures, depression, or alcohol or drug abuse.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- High risk of overdose, which can lead to death
- Respiratory depression (serious breathing problem that can be life-threatening)
- This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
- This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Sit or lie down if you feel dizzy. Stand up carefully.
- This medicine may cause constipation, especially with long-term use. Ask your doctor if you should use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- Extreme dizziness or weakness, shallow breathing, slow or uneven heartbeat, sweating, cold or clammy skin, seizures
- Severe confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- Severe constipation, stomach pain, or vomiting
- Trouble breathing or slow breathing
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild constipation, nausea, or vomiting
- Mild sleepiness or tiredness
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 12/4/2015
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