Palladone was discontinued in 2005 because of an extremely high risk of overdose, especially when taken with alcohol. Treatment options for Palladone are similar to other opioids.

Palladone was an opioid medication that was prescribed to people struggling with severe or chronic pain. Palladone was discontinued in 2005 but may have been prescribed to you before its discontinuation. Any Palladone that is currently in existence is, therefore, likely expired or counterfeit.

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Palladone Addiction

Palladone was a high-potency opioid used to treat pain. It works similarly to most opioid drugs. Before it was discontinued, Palladone was prescribed as once-daily pain relief for those who were tolerant to other opioids.

What was Palladone?

Palladone was an extended-release capsule version of the opioid hydromorphone. It was a potent painkiller that provided constant pain relief for the management of severe chronic pain.

As part of the narcotic family of prescription drugs, the drug worked by changing how the brain senses pain in the body. It binds to pain receptors in the nervous system, blocking the transmission of pain signals. In turn, a person’s tolerance for pain increased. It was meant to last all day to keep pain levels to a minimum.

The medication had a high potential for abuse and dependence. If a person was taking Palladone, they were instructed to use it exactly as prescribed by their doctor in order to mitigate the high risk of addiction.

Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects of Abuse

Common side effects of Palladone included constipation, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, headache and dizziness.

If shallow or slow breathing occurred, this was potentially a sign of an overdose and could lead to fatal respiratory depression.

Signs of Misuse

An addiction to Palladone resulted in strong cravings, and if the person suddenly stopped taking the medication, they would likely experience painful withdrawal symptoms.

Long-term use could result in a person becoming dependent on it or other prescription opioids. If someone becomes dependent on an opioid, their body becomes reliant on the drug and has a difficult time adapting to pain when the medication is not present in their system.

A person who was dependent on Palladone might have constantly sought the drug. They may have shown little interest in other parts of their life that used to be important. After Palladone was discontinued, they might have sought other opioids.

Palladone Overdose

When taken recreationally, Palladone had a higher risk of overdose than immediate-release capsules. This is because its extended-release formulation had a higher drug content intended for gradual release into the body over a 24-hour period.

Slowed breathing, decreased consciousness and small pupils are referred to as the “opioid overdose triad.” These are the main symptoms that doctors look for when diagnosing an opioid overdose. Like other opioids, Palladone suppressed the person’s drive to breathe by acting directly on the brain stem, the area of the brain that controls automatic breathing.

Other signs of an opioid overdose can include flaccid muscles, cold and clammy skin and a slow heartbeat.

In the event of an emergency, or if you believe you are witnessing an overdose, call 911 immediately. If you have an opioid overdose antidote like naloxone available, administer it and then call 911.

Palladone and Alcohol

It was important to avoid alcohol when taking Palladone. In fact, Palladone was removed from the U.S. market due to a drug interaction with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking Palladone caused a phenomenon called dose-dumping, where the opioid was released into the body faster than expected, increasing the risk of an overdose.

Palladone Withdrawal

Stopping the use of an opioid can cause withdrawal symptoms, especially if you take the medication on a regular basis. If you are having trouble managing opioid withdrawal symptoms, you may want to look for a medically-assisted detoxification program to support you during this difficult time. In a detox program, medical professionals will be present to answer any questions you may have, as well as teach you how to cope with these symptoms.

Remember, everyone experiences withdrawal differently. It is important to seek help if you need it.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Common opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Having nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Feeling anxious
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing hot and cold flushes
  • Sweating
  • Cramping
  • Having runny eyes and nose

Withdrawal Timeline

If you are physically dependent on a drug, withdrawal symptoms may start around the time you would be due for your next dose. For a long-acting drug like Palladone, which was generally taken once daily, this means that withdrawal symptoms would start within 48 hours and could last up to 20 days.

However, each person has a unique physiology, and some may experience withdrawal for a longer period of time because it takes longer to rid itself of the medication.

Palladone Addiction Treatment & Detox

People who are looking to overcome their opioid addiction can benefit from a variety of resources and programs available through The Recovery Village. Whether a person begins treatment with the inpatient or outpatient rehab program, they will first need to completely detox from opioids.

Once the substance has safely left the body, you can participate in individual and group therapy counseling, as well as recreational activities while you are at The Recovery Village.

Inpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab is an option that allows people to live on campus at one of The Recovery Village’s designated inpatient centers while they recover from opioid addiction. This program is extremely beneficial for those facing a severe opioid addiction or those who would have difficulty recovering due to distractions from their normal home environment. In the inpatient rehab program, people will have access to trained professionals who can help them overcome the challenges of their addiction.

Outpatient Rehab
Once a person completes inpatient rehab, they will then enter outpatient rehab. Here, you will live at home while you come to The Recovery Village for scheduled appointments. Individuals with less severe addiction may begin recovery with the outpatient rehab program or online with teletherapy and skip inpatient entirely.

Choosing a Palladone Rehab Center

Choosing a rehabilitation facility is an important step in recovering from addiction. It is recommended that people set up a meeting with their doctors to discuss what they personally need in a rehab center in order to make the most informed decision possible.

If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction or another form of a substance use disorder, do not delay in getting professional help. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you will be on your way to living a happier, healthier, substance-free life.

The Recovery Village offers many different resources and program options for those wishing to recover from a prescription opioid addiction. Contact us today to learn more about these life-saving treatment options.

FAQ & Related

How was Palladone used?

Palladone was most commonly prescribed for the management of chronic pain in people who had previously taken other opioids. It was available in 12 mg, 16 mg, 24 mg and 32 mg extended-release capsules.

In the event of an overdose emergency, should naloxone be administered?

Treatment for any opioid overdose includes giving an opioid antagonist like naloxone. Naloxone quickly reverses the effects of opioids like Palladone. In cases of severe overdose, more than one dose of naloxone may be necessary to reverse Palladone’s effects. If a person is overdosing, you should call 911 immediately and administer naloxone or its brand name Narcan if available.

How long does Palladone stay in your system?

The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for your body to rid itself of half of a dose. The average half-life of Palladone was approximately 18.6 hours. Because it usually takes five half-lives for a drug to completely leave your system, Palladone could stay in your system for almost four days.

Several factors influence how long the drug remains active, including dose, frequency of dosing and kidney and liver function.

Was Palladone safe to take while pregnant?

Palladone was not recommended in pregnant women. Taking the medication while pregnant could harm the fetus and cause opioid withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby.

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Editor – Rob Alston
Rob Alston has traveled around Australia, Japan, Europe, and America as a writer and editor for industries including personal wellness and recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
Read Next

Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Application Number: 21-217 Summary Review.” March 1, 2010. Accessed August 2, 2020.

Food and Drug Administration. “Palladone.” April 2014. Accessed August 2, 2020.

Schiller, Elizabeth; Goyal, Amandeep; Cao, Fei; Mechanic, Oren. “Opioid Overdose.” StatPearls, January 2020. Accessed July 25, 2020.

Hallare, Jericho; Gerriets, Valerie. “Half Life.” StatPearls, January 30, 2020. Accessed August 2, 2020.

World Health Organization. “Withdrawal Management.” Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings, 2009. Accessed August 2, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.