Hydromorphone and Guaifenesin

Uses

Guaifenesin is an expectorant - it helps loosen congestion in your lungs and throat to make it easier to cough out mucus. Hydromorphone is a narcotic pain reliever, often prescribed to relieve a painful, dry cough. When combined into syrup, these drugs make it easier to breathe when you are suffering from respiratory illnesses like colds, infections or allergies.

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Administration/Dosage

The hydromorphone and guaifenesin combination is known under the brand name Dilaudid cough syrup.

This drug is available in syrup form to be taken by mouth. Take this medicine with or without food. If hydromorphone and guaifenesin preparations make you nauseated, take with food.

There is 1 mg of hydromorphone and 100 mg of guaifenesin in every 5 ml dose.

Do not administer guaifenesin to children under the age of four years. Talk with your pediatrician about using hydromorphone and guaifenesin preparations to treat your child's cough.

A physician typically prescribes hydromorphone and guaifenesin to only be taken when you need relief from pain, therefore missing doses is not an issue. If your doctor told you to take hydromorphone and guaifenesin on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time to take another dose and you can tolerate the pain, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take extra doses in an attempt to catch up. Read More About Hydromorphone and Guaifenesin Administration and Dosage

Action

Guaifenesin works by thinning mucus, making it easier for you to clear your airway. More About How Hydromorphone and Guaifenesin Works

Precautions

An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition that can result in death. Most allergic reactions to medications occur soon after taking the drug, but allergic reactions may be delayed up to 24 hours. Contact your physician or emergency room immediately if you think you are having an allergic reaction to hydromorphone and guaifenesin. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe form of allergic reaction that can lead to death within 15 minutes of exposure.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, itchiness, rashes and watery eyes. Symptoms of a severe reaction may include abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, anxiety, feeling lightheaded or nausea and vomiting.

Drink extra fluids when taking this drug. Water helps loosen congestion, lubricate your throat and replace fluids lost while you were sick. Hydromorphone may also cause constipation, so drinking water will also help regulate bowel movements.

Your doctor may choose another pain medication or change the dosage of hydromorphone and guaifenesin if you have a history of certain medical conditions. This medication may worsen certain disorders; some medical conditions can interfere with the way hydromorphone and guaifenesin works. Tell your doctor about any serious or chronic illnesses including

Your doctor may order laboratory tests to measure the effectiveness of treatment and look for signs of serious side effects. Keep all doctor and laboratory appointments and alert your physician or laboratory technician to any problems you have with side effects or with hydromorphone and guaifenesin.

Hydromorphone affects your central nervous system in a way that can make you drowsy. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive a car until you know how you react to this medication. Avoid engaging in risky behavior that requires you to be alert and awake or to make swift decisions. Alcohol and some medications, such as cold or allergy drugs, can enhance this effect.

Do not consume alcohol while taking hydromorphone and guaifenesin. Drinking alcohol may worsen side effects.

Narcotics can be habit-forming, especially if you take them for long periods of time. Tell your doctor if you have a history of dependence or addiction to drugs or alcohol. Your physician may choose a different course of treatment or adjust your dosage accordingly. Talk with your doctor if you have difficulty trying to quit hydromorphone and guaifenesin.

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Warnings

The FDA classifies & as a pregnancy Category C, which means scientists do not yet know how hydromorphone and guaifenesin affects your unborn child. Taking hydromorphone in the last three months of pregnancy may result in your baby experiencing withdrawal symptoms after delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking hydromorphone. If you become pregnant while taking hydromorphone, call your doctor immediately. Hydromorphone is found in breast milk. Do not take hydromorphone while breastfeeding.

Don't stop taking hydromorphone suddenly unless directed to do so by a physician. Sudden cessation may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Try weaning yourself from hydromorphone by taking smaller doses less frequently. If you cannot stop taking hydromorphone because the withdrawal symptoms are too strong, consult with your doctor or qualified in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation center.

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Drug Interactions

Hydromorphone and guaifenesin may interact in an unfavorable or even dangerous way with other prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies. Give your doctor and pharmacist a complete and updated list of all the prescriptions, remedies and vitamins you take regularly. Do not take hydromorphone with other narcotic pain relievers, sedatives, tranquilizers or muscle relaxants. These drugs may make you drowsy, depress your breathing patterns or put you at risk for other serious medical complications caused by hydromorphone drug interactions. More Drug Interactions

Side effects

You may experience side effects while taking hydromorphone and guaifenesin. If the more common side effects become intolerable or don't go away on their own, talk with your doctor. Common side effects of guaifenesin include dizziness or headache, a rash, stomach upset and nausea or vomiting. Common side effects of hydromorphone include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness.
  • Blurred Vision.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea and Vomiting.

Some side effects can be severe or life-threatening. Seek medical assistance immediately if you experience severe side effects such as:

  • Allergic Reaction.
  • Fainting.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Irregular Heartbeat.
  • Mood Changes.
  • Seizure.
  • Trouble Breathing.
  • Tremors.
  • Vision Changes.
  • Severe or Persistent Dizziness and Drowsiness.

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Overdose

Hydromorphone overdose is a serious, life-threatening medical emergency. If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of hydromorphone, seek emergency assistance immediately by going to the emergency room or calling an ambulance. If you need immediate help, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Extreme Drowsiness.
  • Pinpoint Pupils.
  • Confusion
  • Cold and Clammy Skin.
  • Weak Pulse.
  • Shallow Breathing.
  • Fainting.
  • Breathing that Stops.

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Abuse

The DEA classifies hydromorphone as a Schedule II drug, which means it is associated with a high potential for abuse that can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. When it is used as prescribed for short periods of time, it carries a low risk for physical dependence. Narcotics are frequently used for recreational purposes and this form of abuse carries an increased risk for dependency and addiction. Recreational users and abusers get hydromorphone by forging prescriptions, calling in bogus orders to pharmacies, going to multiple doctors or by stealing hydromorphone. Read More About Hydromorphone and Guaifenesin Abuse

Withdrawal

Recreational and prescription use of hydromorphone does not always lead to physical dependency and addiction but quitting hydromorphone can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is not necessarily a sign of criminal activity or willful abuse; it is a normal, predictable, physical sign of chemical dependency. Withdrawal symptoms may appear after you stop taking hydromorphone, especially if you have been taking high doses or using the opioid for a long period of time. Withdrawal symptoms and duration vary from person to person. Withdrawal symptoms may be so intense that they prevent you from quitting hydromorphone without medical assistance. Speak with your physician if withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting hydromorphone. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, watery eyes, widened pupils, sweating and runny nose.

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Detox

Qualified professionals can free you from your dependence on hydromorphone. Some in-patient programs offer rapid detox, where you are sedated and anesthetized during the worst parts of the withdrawal syndrome. When you wake up, you do not remember experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that prevented you from quitting hydromorphone on your own. Talk with your physician or qualified rehabilitation specialist to find out if rapid detox is for you, or if there are other, more conventional treatment centers available in your area.

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Storage

Put hydromorphone and guaifenesin in a secure location where children and pets cannot accidentally consume it. Be aware of any adults who might take it accidently or on purpose. Do not share this medication with anyone, especially those with a known history of drug or alcohol abuse. Keep track of this narcotic and all your medications. Store this product at room temperature, away from excessive heat, humidity and light.

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