Hydromorphone may be habit-forming. Do not take more of it or take it more often than directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family drinks or has ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, uses or has ever used street drugs, or has overused prescription medications, or if you have or have ever had depression or another mental illness. There is a greater risk that you will overuse hydromorphone if you have or have ever had any of these conditions.
Do not allow anyone else to take your medication. Hydromorphone may harm or cause death to other people who take your medication, especially children. Keep hydromorphone in a safe place so that no one else can take it accidentally or on purpose. Be especially careful to keep hydromorphone out of the reach of children. Keep track of how many tablets or how much liquid is left so you will know if any medication is missing.
Hydromorphone may cause slowed or stopped breathing, especially when you begin your treatment and any time your dose is increased. Your doctor will monitor you carefully during your treatment. Your doctor will adjust your dose carefully, to control your pain and decrease the risk that you will experience serious breathing problems. Tell your doctor if you have slowed breathing or have or have ever had asthma. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take hydromorphone. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a group of diseases that affect the lungs and airways)or kyphoscoliosis (curving of the spine that may cause breathing problems). The risk that you will develop breathing problems may be higher if you are an older adult or are weakened or malnourished due to disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: slowed breathing, long pauses between breaths, or shortness of breath.
Drinking alcohol, taking prescription or non-prescription medications that contain alcohol, or using street drugs during your treatment with hydromorphone increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects. Talk to your doctor about the risks of drinking alcohol or using street drugs during your treatment.
Taking certain other medications during your treatment with hydromorphone may increase the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects. Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take any of the following medications: other narcotic pain medications; medications for anxiety, seizures, mental illness, or nausea; muscle relaxants; sedatives; sleeping pills; or tranquilizers.
Your doctor should only prescribe hydromorphone extended-release (long-acting) tablets for you if you are opioid tolerant (have been treated with certain doses of narcotic medications for at least one week, allowing your body to adjust to this type of medication). Hydromorphone extended-release tablets may cause serious breathing problems or death if they are taken by a person who is not opioid tolerant.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. Do not split, chew, dissolve, or crush them. If you swallow broken, chewed, crushed, or dissolved tablets you may receive too much hydromorphone at once instead of receiving the medication slowly over time. This may cause serious breathing problems or death.
If you are taking hydromorphone extended release tablets, your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin your treatment and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking hydromorphone.
Hydromorphone is used to relieve pain. Hydromorphone extended-release tablets are used only in people who are opioid tolerant and who are expected to need medication to relieve moderate to severe pain around-the-clock for longer than a few days. Hydromorphone extended-release tablets should not be used to treat pain that occurs after surgery. Hydromorphone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
Hydromorphone comes as a liquid, a tablet, and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The liquid is usually taken every 3-6 hours and the tablets are usually taken every 4-6 hours. The extended-release tablets are taken once daily with or without food. Take hydromorphone at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take hydromorphone exactly as directed.
Tell your doctor if you feel that your pain is not controlled during your treatment with hydromorphone. Do not change the dose of your medication without talking to your doctor.
Do not stop taking hydromorphone without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking hydromorphone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms including restlessness, teary eyes, runny nose, yawning, sweating, chills, hair standing on end, muscle or joint pain, widening of the pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes), irritability, anxiety, backache, weakness, stomach cramps, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fast breathing, or fast heartbeat. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually. If you do not take hydromorphone extended-release tablets for longer than 3 days for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking the medication again.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking hydromorphone, call your doctor.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If you are taking the tablets or solution, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take more than one dose of the extended-release tablets in 24 hours.
swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, mouth, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
difficulty breathing or swallowing
Hydromorphone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Flush any medication that is outdated or no longer needed down the toilet. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
slowed or stopped breathing
coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
cold, clammy skin
narrowing or widening of the pupils (dark circles in the middle of the eyes)
slowed or stopped heartbeat
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
This prescription is not refillable. If you continue to have pain after you finish the hydromorphone, call your doctor.
If you are taking the extended release tablets, you may see the tablet shell in your stool. This is normal and does not mean that you did not receive the full dose of medication.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 08/15/2013
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.