Dilaudid Effects – The Dangers of Taking This Pain Killer

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Dilaudid is a derivative of morphine, i.e. a hydrogenated ketone. It belongs to the opioid family of drugs. People also refer to it as hydromorphone. In addition, they use it to treat moderate to severe pain. Scientists first synthesized Dilaudid in 1924. The first introduction to the public was in 1926 by Knoll. In most cases, people refer to Dilaudid as a narcotic. However, this name only applies to the substance in legal terms. Conversely, in medical terms, doctors will call it an opioid analgesic. How Dilaudid effects its users is something one should know about before taking it.

Side Effects Of Dilaudid

One of the main properties of Dilaudid is pain relief. Therefore, it changes the way the brain perceives of pain. More precisely, it increases the brain’s ability to tolerate pain. As a result, it will relieve the patient’s agony. When taken orally, it takes about 30 minutes for the Dilaudid effects to surface. Meanwhile, its injectable form takes only five minutes to start working.
Sadly, like all effective drugs, Dilaudid also comes with a wide range of side effects. Some of them are more severe than others. Therefore, we can divide them into short and long-term side effects.

Less severe, short-term side effects include:

  • blurred vision, double vision
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • itching
  • sleep problems (insomnia), or strange dreams

Usually, minor side effects do not pose a great physical danger to one’s system. Furthermore, medical assistance is not necessary for those situations as well. However, if they persist for a long period, doctors advise the users to seek medical help.

Severe, long-term side effects include:

  • shallow, weak, or very slow breathing
  • trouble breathing
  • slow heart rate
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness or faintingseizures (convulsions)
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • cold, clammy skin
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in chest
  • wheezing
  • confusion
  • severe weakness or drowsiness

It’s crucial to address the more severe Dilaudid effects right away. Therefore, if one notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not hesitate to call the doctor.

Mental side effects include:

  • mood changes
  • irritability
  • agitations
  • confusion
  • hallucinations

Precautions To Know Before Taking Dilaudid

Dilaudid is about five times more potent than morphine. As a result, this makes it a great alternative for patients with weak kidneys. However, this also means that doctors should carefully track the dosage given. This is because an one-time overdose is enough to have a fatal outcome. This way, one will not have to deal with the Dilaudid effects so much.
Furthermore, patients who take Dilaudid should be aware of the following drug interactions:

  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Fentanyl Transdermal System (fentanyl)
  • Furosemide
  • Lasix (furosemide)
  • Lorazepam
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Neurontin (gabapentin)

Page Sources

  1. Hydromorphone Fact Sheet. U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682013.html
  2. DILAUDID and DILAUDID-HP INJECTION. Summary basis of approval. U.S. Food And Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/019034s018lbl.pdf
  3. Norman A. David, Dilaudid and morphine effects on basal metabolism and other body functions. The Journal of the American Medical Association.1934. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/252721

Published on: May 3rd, 2017

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


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