Palladone, also known as Dilaudid and made from hydromorphone hydrochloride, is a potent opioid painkiller. Initially created for patients dependent on OxyContin, it was removed in 2005 due to risks of lethal overdose if combined with alcohol.

Hydromorphone, its active ingredient, acts on brain receptors to alleviate pain and is used for acute or chronic pain but only under strict medical supervision due to its potency. While effective in managing severe pain, Palladone carries a risk of addiction and should be used cautiously, especially by those in addiction recovery or rehab, strictly as prescribed by healthcare providers. Its use has declined due to its potential for misuse, abuse and addiction and healthcare professionals now opt for it in specific cases, weighing benefits against risks and preferring alternative treatments when possible.

Hydromorphone like other strong opioid painkillers such as morphine and heroin, has its share of potential adverse effects. Key risks include respiratory depression (a decrease in breathing rate and depth), urinary retention, spasms of the bronchial tubes, and, in some cases, decreased blood circulation, all of which are dose-dependent. More frequently encountered side effects are lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, itching, constipation, nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating and occasionally, hallucinations. These are especially common among patients who are able to move around freely and those not in severe pain.

Combining hydromorphone with other opioids, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sedatives or general anesthetics can significantly heighten the risk of respiratory depression, potentially leading to coma or death. Additionally, using benzodiazepines (for example, diazepam) alongside hydromorphone may exacerbate side effects like dizziness and impaired concentration. In such cases, adjusting the dosage may be necessary to mitigate risks.

A specific concern with hydromorphone involves its potential confusion with morphine due to their similar names, either when prescribing or dispensing the medication. This confusion has resulted in fatal errors, prompting recommendations for distinct packaging for hydromorphone to prevent mix-ups.

Overdose and Its Management

Although massive overdoses are rare among individuals tolerant to opioids, they can lead to severe consequences, including collapse of the circulatory system. Symptoms of an overdose may encompass significant respiratory depression, drowsiness escalating to coma, muscle weakness, slowed heart rate and reduced blood pressure. In hospital settings, treatment for a hydromorphone overdose focuses on supportive care, such as providing oxygen through assisted ventilation and gut decontamination with activated charcoal via a nasogastric tube. Opioid antagonists like naloxone, which reverse the effects of hydromorphone, are administered in cases of severe respiratory and circulatory depression alongside oxygen support.

Hydromorphone and Sugar Cravings

The craving for sugar associated with hydromorphone usage arises from a drop in blood sugar levels following a temporary increase after injection. This pattern is similar to what is observed with other opioids, including morphine, heroin, codeine and suggests a complex interaction between opioid use and blood sugar regulation.

Hydromorphone in Executions

In 2009, Ohio introduced a protocol involving the use of hydromorphone for executions, marking a significant shift in the methods employed for capital punishment. This approach involves an intramuscular injection consisting of 500 mg of hydromorphone combined with a dose of midazolam that exceeds therapeutic levels. This method was adopted as an alternative strategy for executing lethal injections, specifically in cases where it proves challenging to locate a suitable vein for intravenous administration. This development in Ohio reflects ongoing changes and adaptations in the protocols for carrying out capital punishment.

What is Palladone? - Understanding Palladone Addiction

Palladone is a highly effective opioid drug with pain killing effects. Get an addiction summary in just a few minutes. Get help from qualified counsellors.

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