|Type of medicine||Opiod analgesic|
|Used for||Pain relief|
|Available as||Capsules and modified release capsules|
Hydromorphone is used to relieve severe pain, it works on the nerves and brain to reduce the pain you feel. It is available in capsule form and as a modified release capsule, which means it is released slowly over the day to give a more even effect.
Before taking hydromorphone
Before taking hydromorphone make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.
- If you have prostate problems.
- If you have adrenal gland or thyroid problems.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have epilepsy.
- If you have low blood pressure.
- If you are experiencing sudden and severe abdominal pain.
- If you have been constipated for more than a week, with or without tummy pain and bloatedness.
- If you have recently suffered a serious head injury.
- If you have had problems with drug or alcohol addiction.
- If you have myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disease).
- If you have pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- If you have toxic psychosis (a mental health problem).
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you have taken monoamine oxidase inhibitors (a type of antidepressant) in the last 2 weeks.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take hydromorphone
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take hydromorphone exactly as directed by your doctor.
- If you find it difficult to swallow the capsules, they can be opened and the contents sprinkled onto soft food such as yoghurt before eating. Do not chew or crush the contents of the capsules.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Avoid alcoholic drinks. Alcohol will increase the side-effects of hydromorphone.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking hydromorphone.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with hydromorphone.
- If you are planning a trip abroad you are advised to carry a letter with you from your doctor because hydromorphone is a controlled drug. If you plan to travel for more than 3 months, you must check with the Home Office before you travel as you will need to apply in writing for a licence to take hydromorphone with you.
- Do not stop taking these capsules without speaking with your doctor first, as stopping suddenly can cause problems such as agitation, anxiety, shaking and sweating. If you want to stop taking hydromorphone your doctor will reduce your dose gradually.
Can hydromorphone cause problems
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||This usually passes as you adjust to the medicine, but let your doctor know if it continues. Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to ease the sickness|
|Drowsiness, difficulties with vision||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert or able to see clearly|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre and drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. If this continues your doctor may prescribe a laxative for you|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Dizziness, particularly when getting up from a sitting or lying position||Getting up slowly should help|
|Other common side-effects include: palpitations, swollen legs or ankles, mood changes, confusion, sleep disturbances, headache, sexual difficulties, difficulty passing urine, sweating, rash, and itching||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store hydromorphone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Palladone® capsules; Manufacturer's PIL, Palladone® capsules, Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Palladone® SR capsules; Manufacturer's PIL, Palladone® SR capsules, Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 21/10/2010||Document ID: 611 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.