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Many hospice patients who experience chronic pain use opioids. This group of pain-relieving medications works by targeting opioid receptors in the brain to block pain signals. For moderate to severe pain, opioids are widely considered to be one of the most effective treatments out there.There are four types of opioids commonly encountered in hospice care: hydromorphone hydrochloride, morphine, fentanyl, and oxycodone. Morphine is perhaps the most well-known of these options, but is it the most effective? What’s stronger than morphine?
This article will consider how effective hydromorphone hydrochloride—or Dilaudid—is when compared to morphine, fentanyl, and oxycodone so that you can decide which option is best for you. It will discuss what is stronger than morphine for those who need a greater degree of relief.
What Pain Medications Are Available to Hospice Patients?
There are three main opioids provided to hospice patients dealing with chronic pain. These are:
- Hydromorphone hydrochloride, also known as Hydromorph Contin and, more commonly, by the brand name Dilaudid.
- Oxycodone, more commonly known by the brand name OxyContin.
Dilaudid Vs. Morphine
While of the two morphine is the most well-known, Dilaudid is stronger than morphine. This makes the drug a common choice for short-term acute payment management. In terms of how much stronger Dilaudid is than morphine, studies show that it has around ten times more strength.
What is the difference between hydromorphone and morphine sulfate and where are they similar? Like hydromorphone, you can take morphine in pill form and both are used to manage moderate to severe pain. The main difference between hydromorphone vs. morphine is that the former is far stronger.
Morphine and Dilaudid side effects are fairly similar, as well. Both can cause dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. A more serious side effect of both is respiratory depression. One key difference is that morphine can cause confusion in older patients, whereas hydrophone does not tend to.
Dilaudid Vs. Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a strong opioid that is used for severe chronic pain. It is administered in the form of a slow-release transdermal patch, which provides patients with pain relief for seventy-two hours. The drug is very strong, with a strength ten times higher than that of Dilaudid.
Because of its high strength, fentanyl is only administered to people who have already been taking opioids for pain relief.
Dilaudid and fentanyl share a range of common side effects, including dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. There are some more serious side effects associated with fentanyl, however, including hallucinations, seizures, and withdrawal symptoms.
Hydromorph Contin Vs. OxyContin
OxyContin is a slow-release form of oxycodone, a pain relief drug roughly equivalent to morphine in strength but with higher analgesic properties. Likewise, Hydromorph Contin is a slow-release form of Dilaudid.
Both drugs have quite similar side effects, though those associated with Hydropmorph Contin are considerably more intense since hydromorphone is a stronger drug than oxycodone. Some commonly shared side effects are shallow breathing, nausea, headaches, mood changes, and itching. More severe side effects include lowered blood pressure, seizures, and rapid heartbeat.
Receive the Support You Need with Hospice Care
When a hospice patient requires pain management medication, the care team will do all that they can to make sure all their needs are met. A loved one’s final days alive should be safe and comfortable. Professionals can help make sure that these criteria are achieved.
Care providers will work with the patient and with family members to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to provide the necessary drugs and treatments. This includes finding effective pain medication with manageable side effects.
Opioids are a very effective but often dangerous form of pain management. Here at My All American Hospice, we take all of the client’s needs into account to make sure we are treating them appropriately.
For more information on how we prescribe pain medication here at My All American Hospice, reach out today.