This medication comes in several strengths. Be sure you are using the correct strength. The higher strength product should only be used if you have been using opioid pain medications for a long time. Use of the higher strength medication by someone who is not regularly using opioid pain relievers can cause very serious (possibly fatal) breathing problems.
Hydromorphone has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Hydromorphone may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you use the smallest dose of hydromorphone that works, and use it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.
The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication and after a dose increase, or if you use the wrong dose/strength. Using this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Be sure you know how to use hydromorphone and what other drugs you should avoid using with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get emergency help right away.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, use the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn't stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.
How to use Hydromorphone HCL Syringe
Depending on your specific product, this medication is given by injection under the skin, into a muscle, or slowly into a vein. Use exactly as directed by your doctor. Learn the proper way to give injections. If you have any questions about using this medication properly, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. If this medication is given into a muscle or under the skin, it is important to change the location of the injection site with each dose to avoid problem areas under the skin.
Use needles and syringes only once. Learn how to discard needles and medical supplies safely. Some brands of this medication contain more than 1 dose. Some brands contain only 1 dose. Review the use of the product you have been prescribed with your pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to use a single-dose brand, use it for only 1 dose. Do not save any medication remaining in the package. Consult your pharmacist for more information.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Pain medications work best if they are used when the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well. Do not increase your dose, use the medication more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
If nausea occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to decrease it (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting opioid medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using hydromorphone safely with other drugs.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Use this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your pain does not get better or if it gets worse.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.