Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.
Language:
English

Hydromorphone for acute and chronic pain

Quigley C
Published Online: 
16 September 2013

While hydromorphone appears to be a potent analgesic, evidence to date does not support its superiority over morphine for the management of moderate to severe pain. Morphine is the gold standard for the management of moderate to severe cancer-related pain. Alternatives to morphine are now available, including hydromorphone. This review found that hydromorphone is a potent analgesic for the management of acute and chronic pain. In terms of analgesic efficacy and tolerability, hydromorphone behaves like other strong opioids. The limited evidence available does not demonstrate any clinically significant difference between hydromorphone and other strong opioids, such as morphine.