Dilaudid is a derivative of morphine. It is prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain such as that due to: biliary colic (pain caused by an obstruction in the gallbladder or bile duct), burns, cancer, heart attack, injury (soft tissue and bone), renal colic (sharp lower back and groin pain usually caused by the passage of a stone through the ureter), and surgery. Dilaudid is approximately 8 times more potent on a milligram basis than morphine.
Often, Dilaudid is called "drug store heroin" on the streets. It is a powerful narcotic analgesic useful in the relief of pain. Dilaudid's addiction potential is similar to that of morphine. Although the precise mechanism of action for Dilaudid and other opiates is not known, they are believed to bind to opiate receptors in the central nervous system.
After only a short time individuals may build a tolerance to Dilaudid if it is taken repeatedly. Physical and mental dependence can occur after only few days. Although, it generally takes several weeks to become dependent on Dilaudid. This drug is taken several ways, ampuls (sterile solution) , intravenously, oral liquid, tablets, and suppositories. Dilaudid tablets are marked with the letter "K" and are yellow (4 mg.), orange (2 mg.), or green (1 mg.). Also available as a yellow suppository (3 mg.).
General doses for tablets range from 2 to 4 milligrams every four to six hours. In liquid form, 1/2 to 2 teaspoonfuls every 3 to 6 hours. Dilaudid suppositories (3 milligrams) may provide relief for a longer period of time. The usual adult dose is 1 suppository inserted rectally every 6 to 8 hours. Take Dilaudid exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never increase the amount you take without your doctor's approval.