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Dilaudid belongs to the family of medications known as narcotic pain relievers. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain, including pain after surgery. High concentration injectable forms of this medication are used to treat only severe pain for people who need higher than usual doses.
Hydromorphone works on the brain to increase the ability to tolerate pain. Hydromorphone begins to work within 30 minutes for oral (by mouth) forms, or within 5 minutes for injectable forms.