Dilaudid is a potent prescription opioid typically prescribed for severe pain. Dilaudid (hydromorphone) comes in several forms, affecting the length of time it stays in a person’s system. Some are quick acting and elicit near-immediate effects, which generally means these effects will subside more rapidly. However, it is important to note that not all of them are sold under the Dilaudid label and are considered generic, although they all refer to the same substance.
Dilaudid exists in many forms, including the following:
- Quick-Acting Oral Liquid: Peak blood levels between 30–60 minutes
- Quick-Acting Oral Tablet: Peak blood levels between 30–60 minutes
- Long-Acting Oral Tablet: Peak blood levels around 16-24 hours
- Quick-Acting Injection: Effects onset within 15 minutes and lasts for more than 5 hours
Just as the effects of Dilaudid depend on the form, the half-life also depends on which form is being taken. The average half-life for the drug is the following:
- Quick-Acting Oral Liquid: Just under 3 hours
- Quick-Acting Oral Tablet: Around 2.3 hours
- Quick-Acting Injection: Just under 2.5 hours
- Long-Acting Oral Tablet: Around 11 hours
Dilaudid’s half-life also depends on the bodily fluid in which it is located. For example, in blood, the quick-acting version’s half-life can vary from 2.5–4 hours and just over 2 hours in saliva.
How Long Can Dilaudid be Identified in Drug Tests?
Dilaudid can show up in drug screens for varying amounts of time, depending on which form is being used. Quick-acting oral and injectable forms of the drug are typically the ones that are tested.
- Urine: Dilaudid can be detected in urine tests anywhere from 2-4 days after use. If a person has only ingested one dose, it will remain in the urine for about 11–24 hours after ingestion.
- Blood: In recent years the technology used to test for Dilaudid in blood has improved. As a result, Dilaudid has been found in the blood as many as 10 hours after use in some recent animal studies.
- Saliva: Dilaudid shows up rapidly in saliva, especially when it’s been injected. Saliva can contain traces of the drug and its byproducts for about six hours after use.
- Hair: Dilaudid can be identified in hair follicle tests. In general, a 1.5-inch hair sample reveals the past 90 days of drug use.
Factors Affecting How Long Dilaudid Stays in Your System
Several factors can affect how long Dilaudid stays in the body, including the following:
- Amount used: A higher amount of Dilaudid means more work for your liver to eliminate the drug, making the prescription last longer in the system
- Frequency of use: More frequent Dilaudid use causes it to remain in the body longer as the drug accumulates in the system
- Formulation and route of administration: A short-acting version of Dilaudid will typically leave the body more rapidly than a longer-acting form of the drug
- Age: Older people may have a more challenging time getting Dilaudid out of their system, especially if the person is experiencing kidney problems
- Overall Health: People with better overall health may be able to eliminate Dilaudid from their system more quickly and efficiently than those in poorer health
How Is Dilaudid Broken Down in the Body?
Once you take Dilaudid and get it into your bloodstream, your liver starts working to remove it from your body. The liver processes more than 95% of the drug in this way. After the liver breaks the medicine down, it leaves your body in urine.
Dilaudid is processed and broken down by the liver before it can be eliminated from the body. When this occurs, the remaining byproducts are released in the urine. Because your liver needs to process the drug first, there is no way to speed up the process of getting Dilaudid out of a person’s system.
Getting Professional Help
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery offer detox services and partial hospitalization and residential programs for the person seeking to quit opioid use. We employ a highly skilled team of professionals who render services to those we treat with care and expertise. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual and family counseling
- Group support
- Health and wellness education
- Experiential therapies
- Aftercare planning
- Alumni events
We are committed to ensuring that each individual we treat will receive the care, support, education, and tools they need to navigate a drug-free life and foster long-term wellness and happiness!