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Dilaudid and its Side Effects

Dilaudid is an opioid analgesic that is often prescribed by doctors for pain management, after surgery. The active ingredient present in Dilaudid is hydromorphone hydrochloride, an opiate. The medication may be administered orally as a tablet or liquid, or rectally as a suppository. Injection forms are also available. The dosage will be adjusted depending on the severity of pain. Dilaudid has a high potential for side effects when used for a long period of time. Therefore, patients should discuss with their health care provider regarding Dilaudid side effects before taking it.

Dilaudid side effects:

Side effects are unwanted response to a drug when it is taken in normal prescribed doses. They can be mild to severe, temporary or permanent. Everyone who take this medication do not experience the side effects listed below. Severe side effects caused by the drug should be immediately taken to the notice of health care provider to prevent further complications from arising.

Dilaudid is highly addictive and has a high potential for drug abuse even when monitored by a registered health care professional. It is also associated with a number of side effects, which includes

1. Gastrointestinal side effects:

Dilaudid in the gastro-intestinal system may cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, difficult bowel movement, and biliary tract spasm. Gastrointestinal side effects are very common when Dilaudid is taken for pain management. Certain patients may also experience dry mouth, sore throat, or increased thirst symptoms.

2. Neurological side effects:

Treatment with Dilaudid may cause abnormal mood or mental changes in some patients. Anxiousness or fearfulness surrounds the affected patients. Certain patients may develop hallucinations following Dilaudid use. They see, feel or hear things that others do not.

Other neurological side effects that occur as a result of Dilaudid use include drowsiness, dizziness, increased fatigue, lightheadedness, disorientation, confusion, tremors, nervousness, agitation, and loss of consciousness. It can also cause increased intracranial pressure and trouble seeing. Patients who experience drowsiness, dizziness, mood changes or loss of consciousness should be evaluated by the medical professional immediately as soon as possible.

3. Cardiovascular side effects:

Cardiovascular side effects are rare following use of Dilaudid. Rare, but serious cardiovascular side effects reported by the FDA includes cardiac arrest (where the heart stops beating suddenly), bradycardia, tachycardia, syncope, and heart palpitations. Certain patients may experience changes in their blood pressure levels (hypotension or hypertension). Cardiovascular side effects require prompt attention to make sure patients do not develop further complications.

4. Respiratory side effects:

Breathing irregularities (erratic and sporadic breathing) and respiratory depression may occur in patients taking Dilaudid. It causes bronchospasm, which is unusual muscle spasms along the respiratory tract leading to shortness of breath, cough, or chest pain. Dilaudid, at its most severe condition, causes cessation of breathing (respiratory arrest) and shock, where the body does not supply enough oxygen to its organs. These side effects are so severe and require immediate medical attention to prevent the patient from developing any further complications.

5. Other side effects:

Allergic reaction may occur in some patients taking Dilaudid. Hives, swelling, and breathing difficulties caused by Dilaudid should be treated immediately. Other side effects caused by the medication include urinary retention, changes in the sense of taste, rapid eye movements (nystagmus), clammy or cold skin, skin rash, trouble urinating, flushing of the skin, and itching (pruritis).

6. Dependence:

Dilaudid is an opioid analgesic. Like any other narcotics, Dilaudid is a highly habit forming drug when taken for a longer period of time. Dilaudid misuse can cause both physical and psychological dependence. When stopped suddenly, withdrawal symptoms may develop such as body aches, nausea, diarrhoea, restlessness, nervousness, sneezing, goose bumps, runny nose, stomach cramps, shivering, shaking, fast heart rate, sweating, or fever. To prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring, patients are advised to stop the medication gradually, as directed by the physician.

7. Tolerance:

Dilaudid can cause drug tolerance when used for a long period of time. Drug tolerance means, the body gets used to the drug so that a higher dose may be required to produce the same pain relief. When drug tolerance occurs during prolonged Dilaudid use, it is not appropriate for the patient to change the drug dose themselves. Instead, physicians will help the patient to find the most appropriate dose for them.


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