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? 

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

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