Treats moderate to severe pain. Belongs to a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to hydromorphone or to related narcotic pain relievers. You should not receive this medicine if you have serious lung or breathing problems (such as severe asthma or respiratory depression) or a serious bowel problem called paralytic ileus. You should not receive this medicine if you are not opioid-tolerant. For pregnant women, you should not receive this medicine during labor and delivery of your child.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. This medicine may be given by a health caregiver.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed. Flush all leftover medicine down the toilet after you have finished your treatment. Also, flush old medicine after the expiration date has passed. This medicine is one of only a few medicines that should be disposed of this way.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using buprenorphine (Buprenex®), butorphanol (Stadol®), nalbuphine (Nubain®), pentazocine (Talwin®), muscle relaxants (such as pancuronium, tubocurarine, or Pavulon®), medicine for diarrhea, an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), or a phenothiazine medicine (such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Thorazine®, or Trilafon®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, low blood pressure, an underactive thyroid, Addison's disease, gallbladder problems, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreas problems, an enlarged prostate, problems with urination, or stomach problems. Tell your doctor if you have a low blood volume, cancer, depression, mental problems, severe scoliosis, or a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Tell your doctor if you have any kind of breathing problem, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cor pulmonale, hypoxia or hypercapnia (low oxygen or high carbon dioxide level in your blood), or hypoventilation (breathing too slowly).
- This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, use machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. Getting up slowly from a sitting or lying position may also help.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive this medicine.
- This medicine may cause constipation. This is more common if you use it for a long time. Ask your doctor if you should also use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Blue lips, fingernails, or skin.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Extreme weakness, shallow breathing, sweating, or cold or clammy skin.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Severe constipation.
- Shortness of breath or troubled breathing.
- Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety, depression, or mood or behavior changes.
- Drowsiness or confusion.
- Dry mouth.
- Feelings of extreme happiness or sadness.
- Headache or blurred vision.
- Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle or shot is given.
- Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04