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Side Effects of Hydromorphone ER

Some of the more common hydromorphone ER side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and constipation. While these reactions generally require little or no treatment, potentially serious problems are possible with this pain medication. If you experience more serious side effects, such as difficulty breathing, seizures, or severe constipation, notify your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Hydromorphone ER Side Effects

Just like any medicine, hydromorphone ER (Exalgo™) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with hydromorphone ER. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects with hydromorphone ER, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • The urge to take more hydromorphone ER than prescribed or for a nonmedical purpose (see Exalgo Abuse)
  • Falling or unsteadiness
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior
  • Severe constipation
  • Confusion
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
Opioids like hydromorphone ER can cause a release of histamine, resulting in itching unrelated to any allergy. If you develop itching but no other allergy symptoms, it is unlikely that you are allergic to this pain medicine. However, make sure report this to your healthcare provider, as medications are available to help relieve the itching.
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