Dilaudid ® is commonly used as an alternative to morphine in cases where a powerful antitussive is needed. Physical dependence, or the need for continual doses to prevent withdrawal symptoms, can occur after only a few days of use, although typically it takes several weeks. The side effects of dilaudid cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible.
This drug is a narcotic analgesic that treats moderate to severe pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system. It is a semi-synthetic drug derived from morphine. It is a brand name for hydromorphone, a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. This puts the drug in the same schedule class as morphine, OxyContin , Fentanyl and methadone. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classifies drugs based on their potential to be habit-forming and to cause misuse and abuse. It comes in liquid and tablet form. Elderly patients and those who aren’t already tolerant to opiates may be started on low doses of Dilaudid.
Dilaudid Side Effects and Warnings
Possible side effects include constipation, which is common with all opiates, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, lightheadedness, sweating, vomiting and nausea. Severe side effects could occur and include allergic reaction, fainting, hallucinations, irregular heart beat, mood changes, seizure, difficult breathing, tremors, vision changes and severe or persistent dizziness and drowsiness. Side effects could be worsened if Dilaudid is taken with alcohol, sedatives, other opiate medications or illicit drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that opiates can be habit-forming. They advise that patients take the prescription as directed by a doctor. Taking more than prescribed can lead to severe breathing problems, seizures, coma and death. Prolonged use of opiate drugs can lead to tolerance, which requires the patient to take more than usual to achieve the same level of pain relief.
Dilaudid Addiction and Misuse
Studies have shown an increasing number of people around the world are using prescription opiates for non-medical reasons. Pills can be obtained through “doctor shopping,” pharmacy diversion and trading or buying them on the street. The market for illicit drugs often goes hand-in-hand with crime. The number of teen users who have access to their parents’ medicine cabinets is also on the rise. Developing a drug dependence can happen quickly when opiates are abused. Many users delay getting treatment because of a fear of withdrawal. If you suddenly stop taking opiates like this drug, powerful withdrawal symptoms can set in quickly. They include insomnia, delusions, sweating, tremors, rapid heartbeat, rigid muscles, anxiety and flu-like symptoms.
Dilaudid Detox and Treatment
Detoxing from opiates can be difficult, especially in those who have used drugs for a long time, at high doses. Often it is difficult to stop using opiates without help. In-patient and out-patient treatment centers offer a variety of therapies for addiction. Depending on the severity and length of abuse, treatment could entail detox, rehabilitation and counseling.