Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is a schedule II controlled substance prescribed for moderate to severe pain. The drug attaches to receptors in the brain and central nervous system to dull pain. Dilaudid also triggers the release of excessive amounts of dopamine in the brain, causing pleasurable feelings. This activates the reward center of the brain, which interprets the event as something that is important and should be repeated. The more this happens, the less the brain will naturally produce dopamine, and the more reliant the body becomes on Dilaudid.
Doctors prescribe Dilaudid for pain related to cancer and serious injuries, such as burns. The time it takes for Dilaudid to take takes effect varies by how it is taken. When taken orally, Dilaudid typically takes effect within 30 minutes to an hour. When used intranasally, it typically takes 5 minutes, and its effects are almost immediate when taken intravenously. Regardless of the method of administration, the pain-relieving effects of Dilaudid typically last between four and six hours.
Doctors typically prescribe Dilaudid tablets in small doses, 2mg or 4mg. Some pills are round and some are triangular in shape. Dilaudid is also available as an oral liquid. In a hospital setting, doctors may administer Dilaudid intravenously.
Other brand names for hydromorphone are Exalgo, Palladone, and Dilaudid-hp. Street names include D’s, Dillies, Big D, M-80s and Peaches.