Dilaudid® is the brand name for ‘hydromorphone,’ a Schedule II prescription-only narcotic that has been around since the 1920’s. Used as an analgesic (painkiller) and antitussive (cough suppressant), Dilaudid® is approximately six to eight times as strong as morphine, and it can be administered by the following routes:
- Buccal (the medicine is placed inside the cheek)
- Subcutaneous (under the skin)
- Sublingual (under the tongue)
Serious Side Effects of Dilaudid®
There are very serious potential side effects that accompany the use of Dilaudid®. Any physician who prescribes this drug should be sure to warn the patient of the possibility of:
- Respiratory depression — this is perhaps the most serious, life-threatening side effect; when the respiratory system is shutting down, it can be fatal
- Circulatory depression — the blood slows and may stop
Dilaudid® Abuse and Addiction
Schedule II drugs such as Dilaudid® are those that have a high potential for abuse, including abuse that leads to severe psychological and/or physical dependence. Many individuals prescribed Dilaudid® for acute or chronic pain, or for a dry cough, have become addicted to this opiate.
Dependence on Dilaudid®
In addition, the human body builds up a tolerance for hydromorphone. This is especially problematic for people who are treated with this drug for a long period of time, usually for chronic pain. Stopping Dilaudid® is another problem; the withdrawal symptoms can be awful and very long-lasting. The symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Body cramps
- Cold sweats
- Constant shaking
- Muscle pain
Dilaudid® and Pregnancy
The warning label states that taking Dilaudid® during the first two months of pregnancy may slightly increase the risk for birth defects. Women who are pregnant or who are planning a pregnancy should talk to their doctors about the possible risks of birth defects associated with this medication.
Don’t Delay! Call Clay!
Drug manufacturers and physicians have a duty to provide safe treatment, and when innocent patients are harmed by a prescribed drug, they may be eligible for financial compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured by a dangerous drug, don’t delay! Call Clay! Our initial consultation is FREE! Our experienced staff members are here to help.