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Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms

Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms

Dilaudid is the brand name for hydromorphone hydrochloride, an opioid agonist that’s used to treat moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid’s effects are similar to the effects of morphine and heroin, but the drug is much more potent. All opiates work by attaching to receptor sites in the brain that are specialized for neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and endorphins, that are naturally involved in controlling pain, exertion, stress, and mood. Additionally, just as morphine and heroin can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal, so can Dilaudid. 

Keep reading to learn more about Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms and treatment options. 

Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms 

Dilaudid can be given in a tablet form, taken orally in liquid form, or administered intravenously following surgery for pain management. Due to Dilaudid’s side effects and potential for physical dependence in those who use it for long periods, the drug has been classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  

This places Dilaudid in the same classification as other strong drugs like cocaine and morphine, which have both medical use and potential for abuse and addiction. Dilaudid is usually used for postoperative pain because it has a quick onset of action and a short-half life, meaning it works quickly and doesn’t stay in a person’s system for long periods.  

While this is great news for patients who plan on taking the drug for the directed length of time, these characteristics can contribute to continuous or excessive use. Because Dilaudid’s effects kick in and go away quickly, a person who’s become dependent on the drug may use more of it or use it more frequently than prescribed to manage their pain or get high.  

Long-term use of Dilaudid, even if taken as prescribed, can lead to physical dependence, which is marked by symptoms that occur when the person stops using the drug suddenly. Common Dilaudid withdrawal side effects and symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Chills 
  • Cognitive issues 
  • Confusion 
  • Cravings for the drug 
  • Depression 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Difficulty sleeping  
  • Fever 
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Irritability 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Muscle spasms, aches, and pains 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Restlessness 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Sweating 

The symptoms of withdrawal from Dilaudid usually begin within four to eight hours after the person’s last use. Symptoms can last anywhere between 7 and 14 days, depending on the severity and duration of the person’s use. To ensure as safe and smooth a recovery as possible, our drug rehab in Massachusetts recommends that patients undergo medically assisted detox. While our Massachusetts facility does not offer this service, there are numerous Banyan rehab locations in the area that do. 

Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline 

The duration and severity of hydromorphone withdrawal may vary depending on factors like how long the person has been using the drug, the doses they’d take, and whether they used other substances simultaneously. Many people tend to abuse opioids and alcohol or other depressants together, which can make withdrawal more difficult and dangerous.  

Generally, the Dilaudid withdrawal timeline is as follows:  

  • 4 to 8 hours after last use: In this stage, hydromorphone withdrawal symptoms may include mild nausea, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, fever, sweating, and cravings for the drug.  
  • 12 to 48 hours after last use: Withdrawal symptoms will continue to intensify throughout the first few days of withdrawal. For most people, Dilaudid withdrawals peak within 12 to 48 hours after the last use and may include symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, fever, chills, tremors, headaches, muscle spasms, aches and pains, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, anxiety, depression, and severe cravings for the drug. Confusion and suicidal thoughts may also occur during this stage. 
  • 48 to 72 hours after last use: The individual may find that they’re more focused on trying to get through withdrawal in this stage. Nonetheless, they may still experience symptoms like nausea, anxiety, irritability, appetite loss, depression, and cravings. 
  • 5 to 7 days after last use: In most cases, Dilaudid withdrawal usually ends after 5 to 7 days. However, many people continue to experience emotional and mental symptoms for weeks and even months after they’ve stopped using hydromorphone. These symptoms may include anxiety, depression, mood swings, loss of appetite, and cravings. 

Dilaudid abuse is highly dangerous not only because of the potential for withdrawals but also because of the drug’s potency. To give you an idea, Dilaudid has been approved for use in lethal injections in federal executions, meaning that anyone who abuses it is risking a fatal overdose. 

Dilaudid Withdrawal Treatment 

Professional opioid withdrawal treatment is an important step in the recovery process, as it addresses the various physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal. This first stage is usually the most challenging for the individual, so it’s important that they receive professional medical support rather than attempt an at-home detox.  

If you or someone you care about is addicted to opioids like Dilaudid, our Massachusetts rehab is here for you. We offer opioid addiction treatment among a variety of other substance-specific programs designed to create an individualized plan for clients.  

Our Boston addiction treatment also includes different therapy programs like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and 12-Step support groups to ensure clients’ emotional needs are met. 

For more information about our addiction services and how to get started, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763. 


Related Reading:  

Oxymorphone vs. Hydromorphone 

Effects of Morphine on the Body 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Dilaudid Withdrawal Symptoms
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