The three most prominent signs of hydromorphone hydrochloride overdose are pinpoint pupils, respiratory depression, and decreased level of consciousness.
Outside of the clinical setting, illicit hydromorphone use can lead to lethal overdose when mixed with substances that depress the central nervous system.
Muscle relaxants, first-generation antihistamines, MAO inhibitor antidepressants, other opioid pain relievers, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, hypnotics, sedatives, and beta-blockers should be avoided. Disclose to your doctor if you’re taking any of these medications before being administered hydromorphone hydrochloride.
Do not drink alcohol while taking hydromorphone hydrochloride. Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize hydromorphone hydrochloride and can lead to toxic plasma levels of the drug.
Hydromorphone hydrochloride is a hydrogenated ketone derived from morphine. Hydromorphone was designed to be used intravenously due to its high solubility in water compared to traditional morphine. Hydromorphone hydrochloride has poor oral bioavailability.
Common side effects of hydromorphone overdose include respiratory depression, decreased consciousness, pinpoint pupils even in complete darkness, urinary retention, circulatory depression, and bronchospasm. Other potential side effects of hydromorphone hydrochloride use include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, itching, poor coordination, sedation, somnolence, headache, and excessive perspiration.
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Physicians are advised to exercise caution when prescribing and administering hydromorphone hydrochloride due to the addictive nature of the drug and its high overdose rates. When administered intravenously, initial doses must be limited to between 0.1 mg and 0.3 mg before reassessing the patient for pain and respiratory depression.
Measures are in effect in several states to keep close tabs on the distribution of schedule II controlled substances. Emergency room staff are trained to look for signs of drug-seeking behavior in individuals complaining of pain.
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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.