What Are The Differences: Hydromorphone VS Hydrocodone

What Are The Differences: Hydromorphone VS Hydrocodone

Many people will mistake hydromorphone with hydrocodone, because their pronunciation is similar and they are both opiate. While these drugs are prescribed for pain therapy, they are fairly different. Below you will discover the differences and similarities of hydromorphone VS hydrocodone.


Hydrocodone is classified as an opioid and is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It is also prescribed as an around-the-clock analgesic to keep the pain under control. The physician may prescribe an extended-release tablet, which will provide pain relief for an extended period of time.

This is a very addictive medication, with the addiction risks increasing with long-term use.

Side Effects

  • Dry mouth
  • Back and muscle pain
  • Edematous hands/feet
  • Upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and sore throat
  • Drowsiness
  • Burning sensation, when urinating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Fatigue


Hydromorphone is an opioid or narcotic that is prescribed for severe pain. It is often given to cancer patients, whom have grown a tolerance to their pain medications. This drug is capable of blocking the pain receptors in the brain, which will reduce the individual’s pain level drastically.

If you have been diagnosed with a cardiac disorder, hypoxia, brain injury, bowel surgery, or respiratory disease, you should relay this information to your physician. Hydromorphone may be contraindicated with these medical conditions, because they can worsen symptoms.

Side Effects

  • Chest pain
  • Seizure activity
  • Dry mouth
  • Restlessness, agitation, and mood alterations
  • Rapid breathing pattern
  • Blurred vision
  • Black or bloody stools


As you can see hydrocodone is in the same drug class as hydromorphone, but it is not as strong. Never take these drugs unless they are being prescribed to you by a licensed physician.

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