How Long Dilaudid Stays in the System (Blood, Urine, & More)

Medically Reviewed

In a country overrun by opioids, we have continued to watch the drugs decimate our society. While you may not be someone who cares for the substance, you likely know someone that does, or someone struggling with addiction in silence.

One hundred thirty American’s lose their lives each day at the expense of prescription drugs, heroin, and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Amid such a bleak time in our country, we have been attempting stronger efforts to combat the spread of the disease. It has come in many forms, with treatment being a primary goal to help users abstain from the substance.

Dilaudid is a potent opioid that is rarely used outside of a hospital type setting; however, there are circumstances where it is made available through a prescription. It is not a drug you will commonly find on the street, but as an opioid, it holds the potential to be extremely addictive.

In the 1990s, pharmaceutical representatives approached doctors about opioid products. Their claim was how little of a chance there was for patients to become hooked, and they convinced doctors to start prescribing these drugs. It soon became evident that this was a ploy, and the opioid crisis we’re all familiar with was born. In 2017, 1.7 million people in the United States were diagnosed with a substance use disorder relating to prescription opioids.

An estimated 80 percent of those who reported their first opioid as a prescription explains that they moved onto heroin. Dilaudid is one such drug that can be traced back to the early opioid crisis.

What Is Dilaudid?

Hydromorphone, which is the active ingredient in Dilaudid, is a semi-synthetic opioid that is used to treat severe pain. The drug can take effect within minutes. It is viewed as a hydrogenated ketone of morphine, which is created by altering morphine.

Dilaudid is more water-soluble, giving it a unique edge against other opioids. The way it is used is very similar to other opioids, but the active chemicals are what separates it from other options. It has a potency two to eight times higher than morphine.

Dilaudid is the most useful when it is given intravenously. Due to its water solubility, it is much more difficult to be absorbed into fat and tissue. Oral consumption means it will have a harder time reaching the bloodstream. When it is administered intravenously, it bypasses the blood-brain barrier.

Dilaudid possesses a high dependence liability, and when the drug is overused, it can lead to chemical dependence, followed by addiction. Advances in modern addiction science have offered better solutions at treating opioid addiction, but it is still a long and challenging road ahead.

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Your System?

The amount of time Dilaudid remains in your system is going to vary from one person to another based on many factors. One of which is the route of administration, and below, is the list of differences in administration and how long it will remain in the system.

Oral Administration

When Dilaudid is consumed orally, it can begin treating pain within 15 minutes and reach its peak effects in about 30 minutes. The elimination half-life of Dilaudid is close to four hours, which means it can remain in your system for two to three days.

Intravenous (IV) Injection

When the drug is injected, it can work in five minutes with a half-life of two hours. Through this route, it can stay in the body for two to three days.

Intramuscular (IM) Injection

Through a muscle injection, it can work in about 15 minutes, with a three-hour-half-life, and can stay in the body for several days.

How Long Will Dilaudid Show Up On A Drug Test?

Dilaudid can show up on a drug screen through urine, saliva, hair, and blood. If you are prescribed Dilaudid and need to take a urine drug test for a job, you must tell the lab that you are prescribed Dilaudid.


Someone who uses Dilaudid regularly will find that Dilaudid can be flushed from the system in two to three days. Of course, these numbers can vary for everyone, but on average, the drug will exit your system at this time.


Dilaudid will appear in a blood test for up to 24 hours after the last time it was used.


A saliva test will yield positive results for Dilaudid up to three days after your last use.


While hair tests are less common, they still exist – Dilaudid can remain in a hair sample for up to six months after your last use.

Get Help For Dilaudid Use Today

If you are concerned about failing a drug test because of your prescription drug abuse, or if you think that you’ve become dependent on Dilaudid and you cannot stop on your own, we want to help.

Tap to GET HELP NOW: (844) 318-7500