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The History of Dilaudid

Dilaudid is a drug which is used to control and reduce pain and discomfort. Its generic name is hydromorphone, and it has been in existence for almost eighty years. This means that its effects have been studied in considerable detail, and the side-effects which it can produce are fairly well understood.

History of Dilaudid

The drug was first produced in the 1920s in Germany, where extensive research was undertaken into the possibility of using it to provide a drug that could deliver relief from pain. Another reason for the interest in its development was that it was thought to be greatly desirable to produce a pain reliever that had fewer side-effects than those drugs which were available at the time. The well-known brand name, Dilaudid, was introduced at the very start of the drug's life, when hydromorphone was brought on to the market in 1926.

When the United States Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, hydromorphone was included on the list of narcotics as a Schedule II drug. This was the case for all drugs which included this active ingredient, not simply for Dilaudid itself. Indeed, every opioid analgesic was classified as Schedule II, on the grounds that - while very effective and useful when used in the proper manner - there was a considerable risk of serious and harmful side-effects being encountered if the drug was abused, and that there was in turn a significant risk of such abuse occurring.

How Dialudid is Used

For the most part, drugs such as Dilaudid are used in the treatment of long-term conditions which cause substantial levels of pain. For example, hydromorphone is often used in order to alleviate pain in individuals who are living with cancer. It is also frequently employed in the treatment of chronic conditions such as arthritis, as well as in a more specifically targeted fashion when patients are recuperating from hip or knee replacement surgery, or similar surgeries which can leave the patient in pain during the recovery process.

Dry coughs which are particularly severe, and which have not responded to other forms of treatment, can also be treated with Dilaudid. However, a number of medical professionals now believe that it is a bad idea to prescribe hydromorphone for the treatment of relatively straightforward acute conditions such as these. Rather more common is the use of the drug to deal with emergencies where extreme pain is being encountered by the patient. Examples of such events include kidney stones and broken limbs. The effectiveness of Dilaudid in these cases is greater even than that of morphine.

Some Side-effects of Dilaudid

As is the case with the majority of opioid analgesics of this strength, Dilaudid - and, indeed, generic hydromorphone - can subject the user to a considerable range of side-effects, some of which can be quite frightening. Among the milder of these symptoms can be classed such effects as itchy or reddened skin, nausea, diarrhea, hiccups, variations in the patient's appetite, and a feeling that his or her mouth is extremely dry. Sex drive can also be adversely affected, something that is associated with several of the other symptoms.

More serious side-effects show a wide variety of physical and emotional signs. Physical problems may include deterioration of vision, pain or discomfort in the abdominal area, a larger prostate gland, a weakening of the pulse, and profuse sweating. Symptoms that are not always so obvious to the outside observer - and sometimes not even to patients themselves - include feelings of paranoia, difficulty in holding concentration, dizzy spells, and generalized mood swings. Strangely, one sign that is well-known to occur is an unwarranted feeling of happiness and well-being.

Withdrawing from Dilaudid

Medications such as hydromorphone, as known to have a high risk of causing dependency. This has been accepted by all authorities since very early in the history of Dilaudid, and it is known that this addiction can begin to make its presence felt after as short a period of one week of using the drug. A particular danger is that, because of the sheer power of the drug, it can lead to addiction even when used in accordance with a doctor's instructions. For this reason, anyone experiencing side-effects of any kind should get the advice of a medical professional.

Symptoms which tend to present themselves when a person is withdrawing from taking Dilaudid include some of the same signs which occur when the drug is being taken in the normal way. However, there are also other signs which occur specifically during the withdrawal process. These can range from relatively mild tremors and fevers, through symptoms which are reminiscent of flu, through to life-threatening effects. These can include irrational behavior and abnormal thoughts, sometimes extending as far as leading the patient to consider suicide.


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