Hydromorphone Hydrochloride

HYDROMORPHONE HYDROCHLORIDE- hydromorphone hydrochloride injection, solution
Hospira, Inc.


Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection or following a dose increase [See Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [See Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Drug Interactions (7)].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.


Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.

Limitations of Use

Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] , reserve Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options [e.g., non-opioid analgesics or opioid combination products]:

  • Have not been tolerated, or are not expected to be tolerated,
  • Have not provided adequate analgesia, or are not expected to provide adequate analgesia


2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Instructions

  • Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5)].
  • Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient’s severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24–72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
  • Inspect parenteral drug products visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit. A slight yellowish discoloration may develop in Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection. No loss of potency has been demonstrated. Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection is physically compatible and chemically stable for at least 24 hours at 25°C protected from light in most common large volume parenteral solutions.
  • Discard any unused portion in an appropriate manner.

2.2 Initial Dosage

Use of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection as the First Opioid Analgesic

Subcutaneous or Intramuscular Administration

The usual starting dose is 1 mg to 2 mg every 2 to 3 hours as necessary for pain. Depending on the clinical situation, the initial starting dose may be lowered in patients who are opioid naïve.

Intravenous Administration

The initial starting dose is 0.2 mg to 1 mg every 2 to 3 hours as necessary for pain control. Intravenous administration should be given slowly, over at least 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the dose. Titrate the dose to achieve acceptable pain management and tolerable adverse events. The initial dose should be reduced in the elderly or debilitated and may be lowered to 0.2 mg.

Conversion from Other Opioids to Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection

There is inter-patient variability in the potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations. Therefore, a conservative approach is advised when determining the total daily dosage of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection. It is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection dosage than to overestimate the 24-hour Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to overdose. If the decision is made to convert to Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection from another opioid analgesic using publicly available data, convert the current total daily amount(s) of opioid(s) received to an equivalent total daily dose of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection and reduce by one-half due to the possibility of incomplete cross tolerance. Divide the new total amount by the number of doses permitted based on dosing interval (e.g., 8 doses for every-three-hour dosing). Titrate the dose according to the patient’s response.

2.3 Dosage Modifications in Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Start patients with hepatic impairment on one-fourth to one-half the usual dose of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection depending on the extent of impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism (12.3)].

2.4 Dosage Modifications in Patients with Renal Impairment

Start patients with renal impairment on one-fourth to one-half the usual starting dose of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection depending on the degree of impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics (12.3)].

2.5 Titration and Maintenance of Therapy

Individually titrate Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration.

If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection dosage. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.

2.6 Discontinuation of Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection

When a patient who has been taking Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection regularly and may be physically dependent no longer requires therapy with Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection, taper the dose gradually, by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days, while monitoring carefully for signs and symptoms of withdrawal. If the patient develops these signs or symptoms, raise the dose to the previous level and taper more slowly, either by increasing the interval between decreases, decreasing the amount of change in dose, or both. Do not abruptly discontinue Hydromorphone Hydrochloride Injection in a physically-dependent patient [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].

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