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Hydromorphone

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Hydromorphone oral liquid and tablets are used to relieve pain. The hydromorphone extended-release capsules and extended-release tablets are used to relieve… Read more

Brand names include: Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5

By injection

Hydromorphone injection is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It belongs to the group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicines) and… Read more

Brand names include: Dilaudid, Dilaudid-HP

Drug classes About this
Analgesic, Anesthetic Adjunct, Central Nervous System Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Hydromorphone for the treatment of cancer pain

Over 75% of people with cancer experience pain. Around 30% to 50% of these people have moderate to severe pain, which can have a negative impact on daily life. Cancer pain is a distressing symptom that tends to worsen as the disease progresses. Hydromorphone may help relieve these symptoms.

Hydromorphone for neuropathic pain in adults

There is no good evidence to support or refute the suggestion that hydromorphone works in any neuropathic pain condition.

The role of hydromorphone in cancer pain treatment: A systematic review.

The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the scientific evidence for the efficacy and side effects of hydromorphone in the management of moderate to severe cancer pain. Randomized and non-randomized clinical trials, reporting data on efficacy and/or side effects of hydromorphone, were identified. Thirteen eligible studies, involving 1208 patients, were selected. Seven studies compared hydromorphone with other opioids (five with morphine, one with oxycodone and one with fentanyl and buprenorphine) and five of them were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Most of the studies were conducted on patients already receiving opioid treatment, often at stabilized doses, and most had methodological limitations. The RCTs comparing hydromorphone with morphine and oxycodone showed similar analgesic results, while the comparison of side effects showed minor differences, not consistent across studies. Due to clinical and methodological heterogeneity of the studies, a meta-analysis was not performed. In conclusion there is evidence to support the efficacy and tolerability of hydromorphone for moderate to severe cancer pain as an alternative to morphine and oxycodone, while there is no evidence to demonstrate its superiority or inferiority in comparison with morphine as the first choice opioid for the same indication.

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Summaries for consumers

Hydromorphone for the treatment of cancer pain

Over 75% of people with cancer experience pain. Around 30% to 50% of these people have moderate to severe pain, which can have a negative impact on daily life. Cancer pain is a distressing symptom that tends to worsen as the disease progresses. Hydromorphone may help relieve these symptoms.

Hydromorphone for neuropathic pain in adults

There is no good evidence to support or refute the suggestion that hydromorphone works in any neuropathic pain condition.

Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Summary of the Research for Adults

This summary will answer these questions: What is low back pain? How is low back pain treated? » Medicines » Nonmedicine treatments such as heat, exercise, and massage What have researchers found about treatments for low back pain? What are possible side effects of medicines to treat low back pain? What should I discuss with my health care professional about treating my low back pain?

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