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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Dilaudid Detox and Withdrawal

Dilaudid is a brand name for hydromorphone, which is also sold under the name Palladone. It is a very strong opioid derived from morphine that is typically used as a pain reliever and cough suppressant. Dilaudid is also commonly abused due to its powerful euphoric effects. Call us today at to get more information on Dilaudid detox centers.


DilaudidDilaudid is an instant-release preparation of hydromorphone, most commonly available in tablet form. It can be taken continuously every 1.5 to 4 hours and takes effect immediately, which is why it has such a strong potential for addiction. Other preparations of hydromorphone, such as Exalgo, are time-released preparations that deliver hydromorphone more slowly to the body.

Physicians typically prescribe Dilaudid for severe, chronic pain and dry coughing. It is more soluble and has less severe side effects than morphine. It is at least six times more potent than morphine, although it has a lower risk of side effects. Dilaudid can also be substituted for fentanyl for patients who are unable to tolerate fentanyl.

Side Effects

The most hazardous side effect of Dilaudid is respiratory depression, an effect common to all opioids. Common side effects of Dilaudid include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting


drug overdoseLarge doses of Dilaudid cause a sense of euphoria, which is the primary effect desired by recreational users. This is the result of pain relief in patients who are currently experiencing pain. Patients taking Dilaudid for pain relief are less likely to become addicted than recreational users; however, addiction does occur in those who take the prescription for legitimate medical purposes. Dilaudid also causes euphoria by directly stimulating the opioid receptors in the brain. Users who seek this effect are much more likely to require treatment in a Dilaudid detox center.

An overdose can also cause circulatory depression in rare cases. Dilaudid’s greater potency also creates the possibility of a fatal overdose when it is mistaken for morphine. This has been the cause of several deaths since Dilaudid and morphine often have similar packaging. The effects of Dilaudid can be greatly increased when combining it with alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Did You Know?

Patients who take 8 mg of Dilaudid per day for a week are considered to be opioid tolerant.


Heavy users of Dilaudid typically experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. They usually begin within a few hours and may last up to a week. The withdrawal symptoms of Dilaudid can include any of the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Appetite loss
  • Cold flashes
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Impaired judgment
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle twitches
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

These symptoms can be extremely severe when Dilaudid is abruptly withheld from an addict’s body. Addicts often receive addiction treatment in a Dilaudid detox center where an attending physician usually reduces the patient’s Dilaudid dosage gradually to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. A detox center can also monitor the patient’s vital signs closely to prevent the withdrawal symptoms from progressing to seizures, convulsions and even death. Dehydration is also common when a Dilaudid addict goes through withdrawal without medical supervision. Call us at to learn more about Dilaudid detox programs.

A residential treatment program is often an appropriate next step for an addict after the detox process is complete. This setting contributes to a lower risk of relapse since the patient has greater difficulty obtaining opioids with little access to the outside world. An inpatient setting also allows patients to focus on their rehabilitation without distraction.
“These symptoms can be extremely severe when Dilaudid is abruptly withheld from an addict’s body.”
The specific program in a Dilaudid rehab center can vary considerably. Some facilities may rely on a typical 12-step program, while others use a signature program specific to that center. Individual therapy sessions are also common, especially for patients who have an underlying psychological cause for their addiction. Group sessions are also key to the recovery process at most facilities.

Did You Know?

Dilaudid is classified as a Schedule II drug in the United States. This means that Dilaudid has legitimate medical uses, but a strong potential for dependence.

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