How Long Does Dilaudid Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay in Your System?
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Dilaudid, also prescribed in the generic form as hydromorphone, is a prescription medication used to treat pain that is moderate to severe. It is an opiate-type narcotic that provides pain relief by acting on certain areas of the brain. Many patients want to know how long Dilaudid stays in one’s system.


This medication is taken orally. If the patient experiences nausea with this medication they can take it with food, but it can be taken without it. This medication must always be taken this medication exactly as directed.

Side Effects

As with all medications, Dilaudid can cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, increased sweating, constipation, dizziness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. The serious side effects that warrant immediate medical attention include shallow or slowed breathing, seizures, fainting, amount of urine changes, mood or mental changes, severe stomach or abdominal pain, hallucinations or confusion, difficulty urinating, fast or slowed heartbeat, and vision changes.

Though rare, an allergic reaction is possible. If one occurs, the patient may experience trouble breathing, rash, severe dizziness, itching, or swelling of the tongue, face, or throat.


Patients who have any allergies, particularly to sulfites or narcotic pain medications, may not be able to take this medication and should tell their doctor about these. Patients should tell their doctor about their entire medical history prior to taking this medication to avoid any contraindications.

Medical conditions they should definitely tell their doctor about include kidney disease, intestinal disorders, liver disease, adrenal gland problems, lung diseases, gallbladder disease, kyphoscoliosis (a spinal problem), mood and mental disorders, breathing problems, diseases of the pancreas, certain heart problems, trouble urinating, a family history or a personal history of alcohol and/or drug abuse, underactive thyroid, and seizures.

Drug Interactions

Patients taking any other medications or supplements should tell their doctor before taking this one to avoid an interaction. Interacting drugs include naltrexone, opiate partial agonists (a type of pain medication), psychiatric medications, anti-seizure medications, other narcotic pain medications, sleep medications, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety medications.

Certain laboratory tests, such as amylase lipase levels, may result in false results if conducted when taking this medication.

Taking cough and cold medications in combination with this medication may result in increased drowsiness.


Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their physician prior to taking this medication because there are significant risks associated with taking this medication when breastfeeding or pregnant. Patients who are planning any dental work or any surgeries should tell the dentist or surgeon that they are taking this medication prior to the procedure. Alcohol should be avoided when taking Dilaudid because it can increase the side effects.

Those who are concerned about the contraindications, drug interactions, and warnings often ask how long Dilaudid stays in your system. On average, this medication will stay in the body for approximately three to four days. It may stay in the body longer when taken for prolonged periods of time. Each patient is also different and this is a factor.


RxList. (2010). Hydromorphone. Retrieved on February 19, 2010 from RxList:

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Blue Pills: aschaeffer – Wikimedia Commons