How Long Does Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) Stay In Your System?

Hydromorphone may be detectable on drug tests for up to three months after the last use.

Dilaudid, the brand name for the opioid analgesic (painkiller) hydromorphone hydrochloride, is used to treat severe pain. If you or a loved one struggles with Dilaudid abuse or addiction, you may be concerned with how long it stays in your system.

Depending on the formulation of Dilaudid used (immediate-release or extended-release), Dilaudid can stay in your system between 15 hours and 3 days. However, hydromorphone may be detectable on drug tests for up to three months after the last use.

How Is Dilaudid Metabolized?

Dilaudid is available as a liquid solution for intramuscular or intravenous injection or as tablets that are taken orally. Dilaudid activates opioid receptors in the central nervous system, similar to other opioid pain medications like hydrocodone, codeine, and fentanyl.

Along with pain relief, side effects of Dilaudid may also include drowsiness, lightheadedness, and constipation.

Dilaudid immediate-release tablets start working within 30 minutes and the effects peak within the first hour. Extended-release tablets start working within the first six hours and effects peak after about nine hours.

Dilaudid Half-Life

Both formulations are metabolized primarily in the liver and eliminated through urine. A drug’s half-life, which is the amount of time it takes the drug to reach half the amount in your blood, can help you determine how quickly a drug is metabolized.

After about five half-lives, most of the drug should be completely eliminated from the system.

Dilaudid immediate-release tablets have a half-life of 2-3 hours and last about 15 hours in the body. Extended-release tablets have a half-life of between 8-15 hours and can stay in your system for about 3 days.

Dilaudid Drug Testing

As your body processes Dilaudid, it turns the drug into metabolites that can be detected on most standard drug tests for a longer period of time.

Urine Tests

Urine testing is one of the most common drug testing methods because it is cost-effective and can detect commonly abused drugs like opiates. Hydromorphone is detectable on a urine test for up to 3 days after last use.

Blood Tests

A blood test is not commonly used because it has a narrow detection window of about 24 hours after the last dose. However, it is useful for detecting intoxication or same day use of opioids.

Saliva Tests

Saliva tests, which collect oral fluid through a cheek swab, are not as invasive as blood tests but have a small window of detection. Dilaudid may only be detectable on a saliva test for up to 48 hours after last use.

Hair Tests

A hair test is useful for testing for long-term drug abuse. The metabolites in Dilaudid can attach to hair follicles and may be detected for up to 3 months, depending on the length of hair sample.

Factors That Affect Detection Times

Your overall health and drug use history can cause Dilaudid and other drugs to last longer in your system.

The following factors may interfere with Dilaudid metabolism:

  • hydration
  • dose
  • frequency of use
  • using other drugs or medications
  • body composition
  • weight
  • urine pH
  • liver health

Dilaudid Overdose

Drug testing can help healthcare professionals monitor individuals taking prescription drugs and those with a history of substance abuse. Dilaudid is a schedule II opioid with a high potential for abuse and overdose.

If you take too much or mix it with other depressant drugs, like benzodiazepines, it can cause a life-threatening reaction. An opioid overdose, also known as respiratory depression, can slow breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.

If you recognize the signs of opioid overdose, seek medical help and administer Narcan (naloxone) if available.

Dilaudid Addiction Treatment

Long-term Dilaudid abuse can lead to an opioid use disorder, also known as opioid addiction. If you struggle with addiction, it is likely you also have a physical dependence and are at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Dilaudid.

A detox program can help you recover from withdrawal symptoms with 24/7 monitoring from medical professionals. Once you are stabilized, you may continue treatment with an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.

At Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, we offer a wide range of outpatient treatment options for both addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. If you would like to learn more about our opioid addiction treatment programs, please call our helpline today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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