What is hydromorphone?


Hydromorphone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from morphine and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is more potent than morphine but has a shorter duration of action.

Historical context

Hydromorphone was first synthesized in 1924 by German chemists Carl Mannich and Helene Löwenheim. It has been used in medical settings for pain management since the 1920s.

Medical formulations

Hydromorphone is available in immediate-release and extended-release oral tablets (e.g., Dilaudid®️, Exalgo®️), oral solutions, and injectable forms.

How long does hydromorphone stay in your system?

Hydromorphone has a half-life of about 2 to 3 hours. It takes approximately 10 to 15 hours for the drug to be completely eliminated from the body.

Street names

Dillies, Hydro, Juice, Smack


Hydromorphone pills are typically round or oblong and come in various colors, such as white, yellow, or orange, depending on the formulation and dosage. They may be imprinted with the dosage and the manufacturer's logo.

Common pills

  • Round, white pill with "M" in a square on one side and "4" on the other side (4 mg tablet)
  • Round, orange pill with "P" in a circle on one side and "2" on the other side (2 mg tablet)
  • Round, white pill with "8" on one side and a score on the other side (8 mg tablet)

Warning: Consuming illicit drugs, including pressed pills, may result in unintended fentanyl exposure, leading to potentially fatal consequences. Exercise caution and consider using fentanyl testing strips to identify the presence of this dangerous substance in street drugs.

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