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Dilaudid Withdrawal & Detox

Dilaudid withdrawal symptoms, beginning 4-8 hours post-use, include restlessness, nausea, and anxiety, peaking within days and potentially lasting weeks. Effective treatment combines medication-assisted therapy, such as methadone or buprenorphine, with psychological support to manage symptoms and address addiction causes.

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Initial withdrawal symptoms from Dilaudid usually decline about five to seven days after discontinuing the drug. 

Withdrawal symptoms from Dilaudid and other opioids include nausea, vomiting, muscular aches and pains, and opioid cravings. 

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be used to bypass most of the discomfort of withdrawal.

What Is Dilaudid Withdrawal?

Dilaudid withdrawal happens when you stop taking the drug after you have been using it consistently for a while. Due to its high potential for dependence and abuse, Dilaudid is not usually prescribed for long-term use. 

For Dilaudid, withdrawal typically begins about four to eight hours after your last use of the drug. You may experience a wide range of symptoms, many of which require other medications to offset the discomfort.

How Is Dilaudid Used?

Dilaudid is a brand name opioid that is used to treat patients with chronic pain. It is known generically as hydromorphone. While it is frequently injected, it is also dispensed in tablet form, administered as a suppository, or consumed as an oral solution. 

What Causes Withdrawal From Dilaudid?

As with other opioids, the body and brain adapt to the presence of Dilaudid when it is taken regularly. Since its presence is expected, the brain is thrown into a sense of chaos when it is no longer in the system. As the brain attempts to regain a sense of balance, withdrawal symptoms occur. 

While Dilaudid withdrawal can be very intense, the brain and body will adjust to the absence of the drug. The lack of Dilaudid will then be treated as “normal,” allowing the person to once again feel balanced without the drug.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Dilaudid Withdrawal?

Common symptoms of Dilaudid withdrawal include the following: 

  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating and chills
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Depression 
  • Confusion or cognitive issues
  • Loss of appetite

Factors That Influence the Intensity of Withdrawal Symptoms

The intensity of Dilaudid withdrawal is influenced by the following:

  • Average dose of Dilaudid
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of use
  • Physical conditions
  • Mental health conditions
  • Age
  • Body size
  • Use of other substances

How Long Does Withdrawal Last?

The exact withdrawal timeline will be influenced by personal factors, like those mentioned above. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms will peak within a few days following last use and resolve within about a week. 

Dilaudid Withdrawal Timeline

This is a rough timeline to expect for Dilaudid withdrawal:

12 Hours After Last Use

Depending on the type of Dilaudid you’ve been taking (short-acting or long-acting), withdrawal may begin within a few hours, or it may take up to 12 hours to begin. Initial symptoms may feel mild and include irritability, restlessness, sweating, anxiety, and opioid cravings.

12–48 Hours

The symptoms will intensify within 12 to 48 hours after last use, often peaking during this time period. Relapse is very likely during this time, so support is needed.

48–72 Hours

Symptoms may start to diminish after their peak. Nausea and loss of appetite generally persist. Opioid cravings may be intense during this time as well. 

After 72 Hours

In most cases, the withdrawal syndrome is resolved after about five to seven days. However, many people continue to experience some lingering symptoms for several weeks or even months afterwards, such as depression or anxiety.

How to Safely Detox From Dilaudid

Because the withdrawal symptoms can be strong, you should never detox from Dilaudid or any opioid without medical supervision. It’s best to have medical guidance to ensure safety during withdrawal and psychological support to ensure you make it through the process without relapsing back to opioid use.


MAT is often the recommended course of treatment for Dilaudid withdrawal. MAT allows people to experience fewer problems with withdrawal, thereby making it easier to stop taking Dilaudid as they make the transition from active abuse to abstinence. 

Most often, methadone or buprenorphine are used for MAT for Dilaudid addiction. Buprenorphine is often the preferred choice due to its lower abuse potential. It is often taken in the form of Suboxone, which also features naloxone as an abuse-deterrent component. 


While detox is a crucial first step in the recovery process, it doesn’t constitute addiction treatment on its own. Therapy is imperative to address life issues that led you to abuse Dilaudid or other substances. In therapy, you’ll begin to build the framework of a life that supports abstinence from opioid abuse.

Avoid Unsafe Practices

Be wary of any addiction treatment program that advertises a cure for opioid use disorder. There is no cure for addiction, but it can be effectively managed for life.
Also, avoid any program that touts rapid detox techniques. This type of detox, which occurs under heavy sedation, can be dangerous, even resulting in death. It also does not benefit the individual in helping them to achieve long-term recovery.

Updated March 20, 2024
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