24/7 Support Line - Call Now
Free Insurance Verification
Verify your treatment coverage

Is Dilaudid Stronger Than Morphine?

Morphine and Dilaudid are prescription medications that treat severe pain when other substances, usually opioids, don’t give the necessary relief. These medicines work similarly to each other, but depending on the person’s physical condition, one may be more effective than the other. For instance, if a person experiences extreme injuries or undergoes intense surgery, the doctor will conclude which medication is necessary. In these cases, the question is, is Dilaudid stronger than morphine? 

6 Minute Read | Published Sep 20 2023 | Updated Oct 28 2023

How Much Stronger Is Dilaudid Than Morphine?

How strong is Dilaudid? Like morphine, the drug is an opioid analgesic, but Dilaudid is the brand name for hydromorphone. Hydromorphone works like other painkillers and reduces symptoms that make people severely uncomfortable. Dilaudid is ten times more potent than morphine which is why it’s not as commonly prescribed. 

Hydromorphone is typically injected under the skin and into a muscle, or it’s given as an infusion into a vein. The drug can also be taken orally. The difference between morphine and Dilaudid depends on comparing the doses. A person would require a smaller quantity of Dilaudid to experience the same effects as a higher dose of morphine. Yet, dosing depends on whether the patient is seeking immediate or extended-release. Still, a person who consumes ten milligrams (mg) of morphine will only need to take one to two mg of Dilaudid for the same or similar results. 

Dilaudid vs. Morphine Effects 

Both substances produce sedation effects and reduce or relieve pain, but Dilaudid is stronger than morphine. The side effects also are similar, though the side effects of Dilaudid include: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Constipation 
  • Low appetite
  • Stomach pain 
  • Unusual dreams 
  • Slowed breathing
  • Risk of tolerance and addiction
  • Swelling of the hands or ankles
  • Harming a fetus if taken while pregnant
  • Changes in heartbeat and blood pressure

Side effects of morphine include:

  • Chills
  • Fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain 
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Blurred vision 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Puffiness around eyes, lips, and tongue 

Although Dilaudid is stronger than morphine, both drugs will display similar signs of overdose, which include fever symptoms, increased thirst, muscle spasms, constricted pupils, or unresponsiveness. Dilaudid and morphine abuse is worrisome since it can inflict rapid adverse effects. Seeking medical attention is advised if symptoms arise. 

Resources Provided at Better Addiction Care  

If you or a loved one is struggling with painkiller addiction, seeking treatment for opioid or prescription use is highly recommended to avoid long-term health complications. The professionals at Better Addiction Care provide support and quality assurance during the process of creating an individualized treatment plan. We offer drug abuse counseling and so much more! Don’t wait to get your life back on track now. 

Call (800) 429-7690 today and speak to a specialist at Better Addiction Care. Find out what to bring to rehab and how to get started! 

Related Readings:

Morphine Addiction

Dangerous Drug Interactions List


bullet American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. (2021).
"Morphine. In AHFS Drug Information®."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. (2021).
"Hydromorphone Hydrochloride. In AHFS Drug Information®."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Fan, G., Xu, X., Wu, H., Wang, Y., Zhang, J., Guo, S., … & Li, L. (2016).
"Comparison of the analgesic efficacy of hydromorphone with morphine in patients with cancer pain: a meta-analysis from controlled clinical trials. Cancer Medicine, 5(6), 961-970."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Wachter, S., & Mauermann, E. (2019).
"Hydromorphone: Pharmacology and clinical implications. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology, 32(5), 592-598."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Mercadante, S., & Porzio, G. (2017).
"Update on opioid therapy for chronic pain. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, 11(2), 104-108."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Shaheen, P. E., & Walsh, D. (2019).
"Opioid analgesics. In Essentials of Palliative Care (pp. 195-209). Springer."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Hanks, G. W. (2019).
"Opioid analgesics in cancer pain management: A review of pharmacokinetics. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 57(5), 1077-1084."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022

Related Articles

Denver Proposes Supervised Injection Sites – Safe Injection Sites for Heroin and Meth Users Updated: Mar 02 2024 A new approach to the opioid crisis and the many heroin related drug overdoses has been proposed in Denver whereby heroin addicts will...
Drug Detox Myths Debunked Updated: Oct 20 2023 Drug detox is the first step of addiction treatment if you’ve developed a dependence on alcohol. But drug detox is often shrouded in mystery, and drug detox myths that...
Exactly What is Drug Detox Like? Updated: Mar 12 2024 One of the biggest initial challenges that an addict must face before reaching a state of sobriety are the withdrawal symptoms associated with...

Free Insurance Verification

Our team is available to guide you through the steps of assessing your insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

Pixel Pixel