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hydromorphone (oral) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5, Exalgo)?

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, morphine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others). You should also not take hydromorphone if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

Hydromorphone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share hydromorphone with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a hydromorphone dose adjustment or special tests:

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether hydromorphone will harm an unborn baby. Hydromorphone may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using hydromorphone.

Hydromorphone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

You should not use an extended-release form of hydromorphone (such as Palladone) unless you are already being treated with a similar opioid pain medicine and your body is tolerant to it. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

How should I use hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5, Exalgo)?

Take exactly as prescribed. Never take hydromorphone in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Take the pill form of this medicine with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Avoid getting hydromorphone liquid on your skin. It can be absorbed through your skin, and you may get too large a dose.

Do not stop using hydromorphone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using hydromorphone.

Store this medication at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Hydromorphone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

After you have stopped using this medication, flush any unused pills down the toilet.

Throw away any unused liquid hydromorphone that is older than 90 days.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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