Wednesday April 1st 2015

How long does Dilaudid stay in your system?

How long does Dilaudid stay in your system?

Dilaudid is the brand name for a prescription pain reliever that contains hydromorphone. Hydromorphone is generally detected in urine screens for 2-3 days after use, about the same detection window as hydrocodone in your body. More on the bioavailability, half life, and drug testing for Dilaudid here.

What is Dilaudid used for?

Dilaudid is the band name for hydromorphone and is a derivative of morphine. Dilaudid is an opioid analgesic and is used for pain relief. As a comparison, hydromorphone is approximately 2-8 times more potent than morphine and is often sought as a substitute for heroin by narcotics addicts.

How do you take Dilaudid?

Dilaudid is available in immediate release forms and can be taken as an inject-able medication, an oral liquid, tablets, and/or suppositories. Therapeutic doses range from 1 to 10 mg.

But Dilaudid can also be abused outside of medical use by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product. These modes of administration, however, pose risk of addiction, overdose or death to the user.

Peak levels and half life of hydromorphone

After oral administration of 8 mg of Dilaudid liquid or tablets, peak plasma hydromorphone concentrations are generally achieved within 30 minutes to an hour.  The half life of hydromorphone is related to mode of administration. The terminal elimination half-life of hydromorphone after an intravenous dose is about 2.3 hours. Following oral administration, hydromorphone demonstrates an elimination half-life of approximately 4.1 hours.

Hydromorphone may also be expected to have additive effects when used with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression.

Dilaudid drug testing

Drug testing for Dilaudid in the blood, urine, hair or saliva is usually accurate. However, the detection time varies by type of drug screen, dosage, size of the person being tested, etc. In general terms, drugs like Dilaudid are detected in blood on the scale of hours while they are detected in urine on the scale of days.

As an anagesic prescription medicine, Dilaudid can be identified as an “expanded opiate” in a standard opiate screen. Dilaudid also requires a lower cutoff concentration during initial and confirmation drug screens (300 ng/mL) when compared to other opiates (2000 ng/ml).  So how long does Dilaudid stay in the body?

Blood: <24 hours after last use

Hair: 3-6 months after last use

Saliva: 2-3 days after last use

Urine: 2-3 days after last use

Dilaudid and addiction

As an opioid analgesic, Dilaudid is a medicine with one of the highest potential for abuse of all prescription medications. Why is this? Medications like Dilaudid act with central nervous system opiate receptors to produce pain relieving effects. One additional side effect that occurs when taking opioids is euphoric effect. Taking Dilaudid to get high can lead to chronic use. Taking Dilaudid over time can then lead to physical dependence, tolerance and withdrawal when dosage is lowered or stopped altogether.

Problems with Dilaudid?

If you want help with a Dilaudid or hydromorphone problem, please leave us a message below. We answer all legitimate questions with real answers, and will refer you to local resources which can really help you.

Reference sources: Commonwealth of Virginia info on Controlled Substance Testing Programs
Daily Med drug info on Dilaudid
DEA drug information on hydromorphone
NIDA Research Monograph Series: Urine Testing for Drugs of Abuse
Interpretation of Oral Fluid Tests for Drugs of Abuse
Quest Diagnostics presentation to DOI: Current &Alternative Forms and Statistical Trends in Workplace Drug Testing
Department of Justice toxicology protocols for substance use





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43 Responses to “How long does Dilaudid stay in your system?
mike mervis
12:57 am December 22nd, 2011

had back surgurgerys and was on oxycontin up to 400mgs aday.weened down over years to approx.120 aday. oxys were getting hard to get @phamacy so doctor gave me hydromorphone 4mgs.that was 2 weeks ago and was withdrawling for 7 days but not really bad. i now have weened to 2 four mg pills aday and want to know after afew days to aweek of that ,then down to one pill aday then zero will i get t WD SYMPTOMS STILL i cant take that WD AT ALL .IS WHAT IM DOING PROPER TO GET TO ZERO POISON IN ME BLOODY SYSTEM. THANKS SO MUCH BUT I LIKE TO KNOW ANSWERS FOR PSYCOLOGOCAL REASONS BEING WHEN I KNOW ITS EASIER ON MY MENTAL HEALTH

1:31 am February 15th, 2012

As an RN I can tell you that dilaudid or hyromorphone is known as hospital herorin. I don’t want to you to frighten you but is important for you to know with what you are dealing.
First and most important please remove yourself from these types of drugs under the supervision of a physician. Patients control their care and you must simply tell your doctor you want to be remove from this drug, he/she will remove you carefully so that you don’t have to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Discuss other pain relief measures with a pain specialist. Hydrotherapy, heat or cold compresses may help. Regular physical therapy and excercise also helps.
Not recommended is for a patient to attempt stopping a strong narcotic unassisted by a physician. If you are not happy with your current care certainly change. It is important that you be the manager of your own health. No doctor can tell you more about yourself.

10:30 am February 15th, 2012

Thank you for sharing your medical experience, Susan. How did you find us?

6:26 pm September 28th, 2012

So if someone is not addicted, but was prescribe this for pain and wants to stop use after 2-3 weeks, is there a withdrawal period? If so how long? and what can ease the symptoms until it can pass. Sorry dont have a regular doctor for advice… prescription came after surgery from the hospital. Please advise, if possible.

2:51 pm October 17th, 2012

Hello LR. Withdrawal from hydromorphone occurs if a person has become physically dependent on it during the course of use. A 2-3 weeks daily dosing period may be lengthy enough for someone to develop dependence, but the occurrence of dependence is highly personal. As with other opiates and opioids, withdrawal peaks around 72 hours after last dose and can last for 10-14 days after cessation. Treatments are also similar and can include over the counter medications for analgesia, hot baths and showers, massage, or pharmaceutical interventions. If withdrawal occurs and is severe, be sure to see a doctor and ask about treatment options such as clonidine or buprenorphine which are used to treat opiate withdrawal.

6:54 am December 11th, 2012

I am very angry! I have been on 45 mg oxycodone for over 5 years. Was abruptly taken down to 30 mg and 15 mgs morphine. recently went to the Doctor we discussed me weening off of the meds. I said ok. The Doctor went out the door and gave his nurse my scripts for Dilaudids 4mg and MS Contin 15 mg. Not to mention this year he increased my morphine and I had a respiratory reaction and was told it is too much for my system so they put me back down to 15 mgs. Went I contacted my primary because I was scared of withdrawals I was told it was ok for me to go onto this new med. I am on it just 2 days and I am experiencing withdrawals from the Oxycodone and the new meds is upsetting my stomach. I have called both my primary care physician and my pain management physician and nothing! Today is 2nd day 3rd night of sweats nausea, fever, headache body aches arguing with my husband feeling like crying all day and night and no sleep! HELP ME!!!

1:07 am March 19th, 2013

When an autopsy is done 4 days after death and it is suspected that dilaudid was taken, what would the results be on a toxicology screen. It showed “may be elevated levels of hydromorphone” what could that mean?

6:06 am April 9th, 2013

I was in hospital for 6 months, had 4 major bowel surgeries & a lot of pain. I had IV dilaudid for most of the time in hospital, then given pills when I finally went home. The pills didn’t work as well as IV, & I knew I was addicted when I found myself wishing I could somehow return to hospital for the IV! Anyways, I did a really dumb thing…crushed & cooked it up & injected it myself. Managed to quit that for a few weeks but recently started again. Over 24hrs, I usually have about 10mg (1 & 2nd tablets). I want to stop again, the same way as before (stopping needles first & taking the pils as prescribed. Then tapering off altogether. If I try stopping again, the same way, am I going to have such horrible withdrawals?? This time I’ve only been injecting it for 2 weeks (before I’d been doing it for a few months)

6:05 am April 10th, 2013

Hi Jen. I feel for you. Good for you that you can recognize the problem and want help! I’d suggest that you consult with your prescribing doctor and ask for a tapering schedule to help you minimize withdrawal symptoms. There is no need to go cold turkey from any opioid or opiate medication.

Mary Jo
1:23 pm May 21st, 2013

My 92 year old mother is in the hospital (she fell). She was given dilauded for pain. At first she was sleepy and drowsy. However, her last dose had been at 6am. I arrived at the hospital at 1pm and she was “like a zombie”. She could only speak in on or two word sentences although she knew exactly what was going on around her and she knew her responses. Example. They wanted to give her crackers and she forced out the words “allergic – wheat”. She needs to be gluten free. Two days prior she was her normal, active, engaged self. Could this be a side affect? If so, could the results be permanent? I am so concerned and I am sure the hospital won’t address this question for fear of reporcutions.
Thank you so much for help. PS Is there a way to undo these affects?

2:53 pm June 3rd, 2013

From my experience it takes 2-3 days, but I have a fast metabolism so its not detectable through urine tests. Just a warning to everyone addicted to opiates, if you can get off them by weening down slowly then that’s the way to go. I`ve been on methadone for 4-5 years and it feels like a life sentence. Dropped down from 120mg to 35mg over the last year and a half, but its getting harder as I go lower. I bit lower and I`m going on suboxone, I have friends that are having great success with suboxone so this maybe my saving grace. @ Jen you should look into suboxone I think it might be what saves you. I know what its like to have withdrawal and wouldn`t wish it on anyone:(

Bob dean
9:08 pm June 14th, 2013

I have been on prescribed opiated for excrutiating back back for quite some time. More recently my doctor prescribed 8 mg hydromorphone, 4 times daily. I have to say that my pain is so bad that it doesn’t help vey much. Also, it has caused severe OIC. How long after I cut down of stop taking this will my Oic get better?

The only thing the doc told me that will help is surgery. I have heart failure and surgery at this time is not an option. Is there any other drugs that might help? I can’t take NSAIDS because of my heart problems.

Please help

Thank you


Joe Palazzola
2:57 am June 20th, 2013

Hi, My name is Joe I am a chronic abuser of diluadid. this started over ten years ago while I had a bowel blockage then two years later I was diagnosed with Reanal cell Carcinoma. During this time I started using Norco, I then graduated to Diluadid, needless to say I have a very addictive personality. I have been injecting this drug for over 18 months, and it has completely ruined my life, both personal and my employment career. I finally broke down and went to a Methadone Clinic, I have been there for only a week and I have already noticed a great big difference in all the lives of my loved ones. I did not want to take this road but I had very little choice I want to be completely free of ALL DRUGS!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thank for your ears and your advice

1:22 pm July 3rd, 2013

Hello Joe. Methadone or buprenorphine can be very helpful in quitting harder opioid or opiate drugs. There is usually a general guide for minimum dosing, both in terms of dosage amounts, frequency, and duration. Speak with the prescribing doctor about your concerns, and follow medical advice. Also, have you sought help from a support group or addictions counselor? Cognitive and emotional changes can help immensely as you wean off drugs and start to learn new ways to cope with life.

9:33 pm July 27th, 2013

I shoot up 8mg of dilaudid for the last 2 weeks…everyday. It is the 29th now of July and I have a urine test on the 17th of next month, wil it be out of my urine by than??

1:19 am August 21st, 2013

I’m feeling very weird tonight, not buzzed or anything like that, but in a shaky, nauseated way. I am on 8mg dilaudid four times a day. I am opiate tolerant, I also have the 25mcg fentanyl patch. I am wondering if I took my last two dilaudid too close together. I was busy and working around the house and of course I was in pain. Should I be seen by a doctor, or should this wear off? I am mildly drowsy,. Your help would be appreciated. I don’t want to run to the hospital and get sent to the psych ward for a stupid accident. I’ve never done this in the six years I’ve been on narcotics.

8:59 pm October 2nd, 2013

I took it yesterday and this morning but it is 7 years old the hydromorphine will it show up in a employee drug test if i have to take one tomorrow

2:41 pm December 6th, 2013

Hydromorphone tested at 2,820 ng/ml on a recent drug test. Hydrocodone tested at 800ng/ml, The patient states he is only taking Hydrocodone. Could taking hydrocodone cause this high a level of hydromorphone or is the client most likely taking hydromorphone as well.

9:32 pm January 17th, 2014

I recently have been shooting up dilauded I get drug tested random once a month I recently missed a shot will it GI back into my blkood stream or will it b like a I took it normally

5:37 am March 24th, 2014

I’m suffering withdrawals of dilaudidI need help cleaning out my system

1:53 pm June 28th, 2014

My 86 year old mother has ESRF and dementia. She went into hospital last Monday for bowel blockage. She was discharged Friday. She was given 0.75 ml of Dilaudid 4 times a day and was prescribed it on discharge. After she came home it was afternoon so I have her 0.75 ml in the afternoon, then in the evening. This morning she was unable to use her legs, was hallucinating and unable to speak properly. I was unaware of the dangers of this drug and so followed doctor’s directions and gave a morning and lunch dose. My daughter suggested looking up this drug which is horrifying. Mum was bloated not in pain, just discomfort. I have discontinued using it since reading side affects. How long will it take for the side affects to pass?

7:19 am June 30th, 2014

I go to the er saying I’m in pain when I really am not. I also say I’m allergic to other pain meds just to get diladuid. HELP i just need advice!

9:22 am June 30th, 2014

Hi Eileen. The time that it takes for Dilaudid to leave the system varies in length and depends on the pattern of typical use and on individual differences. Doctors say that it might take several weeks for the side effects to pass, but since you discontinued her from the meds almost immediately, it is not expected to take as long.

1:18 am July 18th, 2014

How long after taking 2mg of dilaudid until I can have a glass of wine?

5:00 am August 3rd, 2014

Help!!! Diagnosed w/chronic pain 9/13… Started at 2mg diluadid to 8 mg diluadid twice a day.. I wanna get out these pills. Help!!!

5:42 pm August 11th, 2014

I broke my back in 1997 and was prescribed stadol oxy & percs but I never abused them until 2 years ago I broke my leg & they put me on hydromorphone & diludid which I have been injecting every day since it took all my pain away. Well now I’ve lost my business my life is spiraling outa control so I decided too cold turkey quit. My first 24 hours has been a nightmare I’m worried about losing my mind and killing myself I’m broke so no chance of getting high my new script isn’t due till the 25th and I need too know can I kick this thing without it killing me and how much worse will it get and when does it start getting better?! Ty

3:52 am October 6th, 2014

If Diludid 8mg tab, prescribed BD, PRN, how long inbetween each dose should be given?

7:50 pm October 10th, 2014

hey! so i have been struggling with addiction for years and eventually went on methadone,got off it, clean for 2 years and had a slight relapse. not using everyday but using enough. went to see a doctor and got naltrexone(revia) it is friday today. i used hydromorphone(hydies) on weds. would i be okay to take the revia sunday/monday? online it says you have to be clean 7-10 days. my doctor said 4-5. i dont no when to take it or which one to listen to. when i went to go see my doctor i was clean for 6 days and was doing really good. but after the weekend im not doing as good as i was when i went to go see her for it.

4:18 am October 29th, 2014

I want to know if I took 1 ambian and a 4mg dilaudid what will happen?

11:58 pm November 1st, 2014

Got vp shunt- diagnosed w/chronic pain- gt pain doc – beggin for last 3mnths to plse stop 8 mg diluadid- had 8 brain surg- started at 2mg now at 8 mg Max is 2 day cut in half on for almost 11 mnths tried not to tke- havin worst of pain on right side where shunt is- gets clogged- last year 8/13 had 4 brain surg in month- hve to go to er pain nt go away- diluadid nt helpin at all. See pain doc nxt week- plse help

5:53 am December 6th, 2014

Im on suboxen and when I go to see my Dr I get a drug test that test the levels on drugs I’m your system I relapsed on daladid and I need to know how long will I have to be clean for it not to show up

10:33 pm December 8th, 2014

i have been on hydromorphone for 4 years now and have graduated to injecting them about 9 months ago.i was given eight 8 mg tablets a day for the first three years now I am on four 12 mg capsuls a day. I go through my script very fast and then im buying them off the street.i am injecting roughly 12 to 18 mg every 2 to 3 hours a day.i don’t get high off them anymore nor do they help the pain as much any more. I just want to stop taking them cold turkey. how long will it take to feel back to normal again….I hate these pills

5:34 pm December 9th, 2014

Hello Trishtina. Dilaudid can stay detectable in blood several hours after use, and can stay detectable in urine for several days. You can read the specifics in the text above.

4:25 am January 7th, 2015

Hi im having such a hard time I need help with the withdraws from shooting up dilaudids 8mgs at a time whatever I can afford a day and its too expensive now at 30 dollers a pill I cannot afford it but no longer want to do them no more im tired of having to do them cause I dont want to be sick ive tryed but after one day I get so sick my feet kick I cant sleep im throwing up and cant eat what can I do to help me? I really want help I want my life back and I really would like help with the withdrawal so I dont use tks jackie

Karen Hyatt
3:12 am January 21st, 2015

After stopping dilaudid for 4 months for an injury, how long can I expect the withdrawal symptoms, especially depression to last?

Todd C
8:31 am February 7th, 2015

I was diagnosed 9 years ago with ankylosing spondalites, started on percocet graduated to OXY soon after. About a year later went on to hydromorphe contin and hydromorphon (dilauded). Within a couple of years my doc was prescribing about 500 / 4 mil dilauded per month and about 90 / 30 mil of the contin. As my tollerance grew my scrip went to an unbelievable 1080 / 4 mil dilauded a month and 180 / 30 mil hydromorphe contin. I took this amount for several years. Once my life was destroyed l told my doctor l wanted off all meds.
She proceeded to give me some vague idea as to how to wein myself off of this. I did it in about 4 months. Needless to say when meds were gone l started a trip into well itself for more than two months. I Will post more of story which doesn’t and there when someone responds to this post. My name is Todd.

9:47 pm February 8th, 2015

I’m in bad withdrawal and scared out of my mind. This is the second time in a month this has happened. First it was from Suboxone. That made me suicidal coming off that. The Dr. Took me off way to fast. So he replaced it with Dilaudid. It wasn’t helping the pain either. He just told me to stop. He was going to replace it with another one. …can’t remember what now but it was to expensive ($80) so he was able to call in tylenol 3. He is an hour away because we don’t have a pain clinic here. I’m of course hurting and sick & can’t stop crying. I can’t afford to go to the hospital. My husband is beyond frustrated with me.

12:50 pm February 9th, 2015

Hello Tod. How can we help?

Hi Toni. Do you have someone who can drive you to the hospital? It’s not safe to leave withdrawal symptoms untreated, since they cause a lot of stress to your organism and may lead to dehydration or other conditions.

2:24 pm February 15th, 2015

i have had surgery (lung), had it thru an epidural. have not had any for almost a week and still have a lot of itching. is this “normal” or should i be concerned.
thank you

12:34 am February 16th, 2015

How long will the with darlw of off hydro morphing take this s the first day with out it and I’m scared the last time it rayed I was so click but then I had to go back on it four days into my detox this time I plan on staying off been on it for two months please help and tell me what to expect

1:36 pm February 16th, 2015

Hi Edith. I’d advise you to talk to your doctor. Call the office first to consult with your doctor or a nurse, and then if there is a need you can go to be further examined.

10:12 pm February 17th, 2015

Hello I am 25 years old. I use 4mg of dilaudid per day. I am quoting today. I’m nervous on what expect. Am I going to have the same withdrawal symptoms as someone who takes more? How long will I be sick and what can help me..please help.

4:35 pm February 18th, 2015

Hi Brooke. The withdrawal symptoms will be bad for a week and then you will gradually feel better. If the symptoms become unbearable you can always restart the dilaudid and taper off slowly rather than stopping abruptly so to avoid the withdrawals. Still, the best and safest way to quit Dilaudid is in a detox facility and under medical supervision, and of course-with the help of other medications to treat the withdrawal symptoms.

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