Hydromorphone rectal may be habit forming, especially with prolonged use. Use hydromorphone rectal exactly as directed. Do not use a larger dose, use it more often, or use it for a longer period of time or in a different way than prescribed by your doctor. While you are using hydromorphone rectal, discuss with your health care provider your pain treatment goals, length of treatment, and other ways to manage your pain. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family drinks or has ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, uses or has ever used street drugs, or has had an overdose, or has overused prescription medications, or if you have or have ever had depression or another mental illness. There is a greater risk that you will overuse hydromorphone rectal if you have or have ever had any of these conditions. Talk to your health care provider immediately and ask for guidance if you think that you have an opioid addiction or call the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
Taking certain medications during your treatment with hydromorphone rectal may increase the risk that you will develop serious or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma. Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take any of the following medications: benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Diastat, Valium), estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam, temazepam (Restoril), and triazolam (Halcion); medications for mental illness or nausea; muscle relaxants; other pain medications; sedatives; sleeping pills; or tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications and will monitor you carefully. If you use hydromorphone rectal with any of these medications and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care: unusual dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness. Be sure that your caregiver or family members know which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor or emergency medical care if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
Drinking alcohol, taking prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or using street drugs during your treatment with hydromorphone rectal increases the risk that you will experience these serious, life-threatening side effects.Do not drink alcohol, take prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or use street drugs during your treatment.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of using hydromorphone rectal.
FDA Drug Safety Communication:
- As part of its ongoing efforts to address the nation's opioid crisis, FDA is requiring several updates to the prescribing information of opioid pain medicines. The changes are being made to provide additional guidance for safe use of these drugs while also recognizing the important benefits when used appropriately. The changes apply to both immediate-release (IR) and extended-release/long-acting preparations (ER/LA).
- Updates to the IR opioids state that these drugs should not be used for an extended period unless the pain remains severe enough to require an opioid pain medicine and alternative treatment options are insufficient, and that many acute pain conditions treated in the outpatient setting require no more than a few days of an opioid pain medicine.
- Updates to the ER/LA opioids recommend that these drugs be reserved for severe and persistent pain requiring an extended period of treatment with a daily opioid pain medicine and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.
- A new warning is being added about opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) for both IR and ER/LA opioid pain medicines. This includes information describing the symptoms that differentiate OIH from opioid tolerance and withdrawal.
- Information in the boxed warning for all IR and ER/LA opioid pain medicines will be updated and reordered to elevate the importance of warnings concerning life-threatening respiratory depression, and risks associated with using opioid pain medicines in conjunction with benzodiazepines or other medicines that depress the central nervous system (CNS).
- Other changes will also be required in various other sections of the prescribing information to educate clinicians, patients, and caregivers about the risks of these drugs.
Why is this medicine prescribed?
Hydromorphone suppositories are used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Hydromorphone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
Are there other uses for this medicine?
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Hydromorphone comes as a suppository to insert in the rectum. It is inserted usually once every 6 to 8 hours. Insert hydromorphone at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use hydromorphone suppositories exactly as directed.
Do not stop using hydromorphone suppositories without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop using hydromorphone suppositories, you may experience withdrawal symptoms including restlessness, teary eyes, runny nose, yawning, sweating, chills, hair standing on end, muscle and joint pain, widening of the pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes), irritability, anxiety, backache, weakness, stomach cramps, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fast breathing, or fast heartbeat. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
To use the suppositories, follow these steps:
- Remove the wrapper.
- Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
- Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest (a left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee).
- Using your finger, insert the suppository about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) into the rectum.
- Hold it in place with your finger for a few moments.
- Stand up after about 15 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly and resume normal activities.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using hydromorphone suppositories,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to hydromorphone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in hydromorphone suppositories. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: cyclobenzaprine (Amrix); dextromethorphan (found in many cough medications; in Nuedexta); lithium (Lithobid, in Librax); medications for seizures medications for migraine headaches such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, in Treximet), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); mirtazapine (Remeron); narcotic medications for pain other than hydromorphone; 5HT 3 serotonin blockers such as alosetron (Lotronex), dolasetron (Anzemet), granisetron (Sancuso, Sustol), ondansetron (Zofran, Zuplenz), or palonosetron (Aloxi, in Akynzeo); selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Prozac, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors such as desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), and venlafaxine (Effexor); trazodone; and tricyclic antidepressants ('mood elevators') such as amitriptyline, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil). Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or receiving the following monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors or if you have stopped taking them within the past two weeks: isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). Many other medications may also interact with hydromorphone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort or tryptophan.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a head injury or any condition that caused damage to your brain, any condition that increases the pressure in your brain; slowed breathing; or any condition that affects your breathing such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; a group of diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema that affect the lungs and airways), or kyphoscoliosis (curving of the spine that may cause breathing problems). Your doctor may tell you not to use hydromorphone suppositories.
- tell your doctor if you are an older adult or if you are weakened or malnourished by disease. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hypothyroidism (condition in which the thyroid gland produces less hormone than normal); Addison's disease (condition in which the adrenal gland produces less hormone than normal); any condition that causes difficulty urinating such as an enlarged prostate (a male reproductive gland) or urethral stricture (blockage of the tube that allows urine to leave the body); or liver or kidney disease.
- you should know that this medication may decrease fertility in men and women. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using hydromorphone suppositories.
- you should know that hydromorphone may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that hydromorphone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start using hydromorphone suppositories. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using hydromorphone suppositories.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What should I do in case of overdose?
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help . If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
While using hydromorphone rectal, you should talk to your doctor about having a rescue medication called naloxone readily available (e.g., home, office). Naloxone is used to reverse the life-threatening effects of an overdose. It works by blocking the effects of opiates to relieve dangerous symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood. Your doctor may also prescribe you naloxone if you are living in a household where there are small children or someone who has abused street or prescription drugs. You should make sure that you and your family members, caregivers, or the people who spend time with you know how to recognize an overdose, how to use naloxone, and what to do until emergency medical help arrives. Your doctor or pharmacist will show you and your family members how to use the medication. Ask your pharmacist for the instructions or visit the manufacturer's website to get the instructions. If symptoms of an overdose occur, a friend or family member should give the first dose of naloxone, call 911 immediately, and stay with you and watch you closely until emergency medical help arrives. Your symptoms may return within a few minutes after you receive naloxone. If your symptoms return, the person should give you another dose of naloxone. Additional doses may be given every 2 to 3 minutes, if symptoms return before medical help arrives.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- slow or shallow breathing
- difficulty breathing
- unable to respond or wake up
- muscle weakness
- cold, clammy skin
- narrowing or widening of the pupils (dark circle in the middle of the eye)
- slowed or stopped heartbeat
What side effects can this medicine cause?
Hydromorphone suppositories may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- mood changes
- difficulty urinating
- narrowing of the pupils (dark circles in the center of the eyes)
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- slowed or stopped breathing
- breathing that is irregular or that stops and starts
- agitation, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, or dizziness
- inability to get or keep an erection
- irregular menstruation
- decreased sexual desire
Hydromorphone suppositories may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it in the refrigerator. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Store hydromorphone suppositories in a refrigerator in a safe place so that no one else can take the medication accidentally or on purpose. Keep track of how many suppositories are left so you will know if any are missing.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to hydromorphone.
Before having any laboratory test (especially those that involve methylene blue), tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are using hydromorphone.
This prescription is not refillable. If you continue to have pain after you finish the hydromorphone suppositories, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.