What is the most important information I should know about hydromorphone?
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Important Information Regarding Hydromorphone

Never take more hydromorphone than is prescribed for you. If your pain is not being adequately treated, talk to your doctor.

Do not stop taking hydromorphone suddenly if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and make you very uncomfortable. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose. Hydromorphone will cause drowsiness and fatigue. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, antihistamines, sedatives and tranquilizers except under the supervision of your doctor. These may also make you drowsy. Hydromorphone will also cause constipation so drink plenty of water (six to eight full glasses a day) to lessen this side effect. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can also help to alleviate constipation.

What Is Hydromorphone?

Hydromorphone is in a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics and is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. The drug may also be used as a cough suppressant and for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What Happens If I Overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms of a hydromorphone overdose include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, and small pupils.

What Should I Avoid While Taking Hydromorphone?

Avoid alcohol while taking hydromorphone. Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by hydromorphone and could be dangerous.

Also avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines except under the supervision of your doctor. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Hydromorphone may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

What Are The Possible Side Effects From Hydromorphone?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking hydromorphone and seek emergency medical attention:

  • An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
  • Slow, weak breathing
  • Seizures
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Severe weakness or dizziness
  • Unconsciousness


Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take hydromorphone and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite
  • Dizziness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Decreased urination
  • Decreased sex drive


Hydromorphone is habit forming. Do not stop taking it suddenly.