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Opiates: Hydromorphone

Metabolism
  • Hydromorphone is metabolized to hydromorphone-3-glucuronide.
Hydromorphone has a half-life of 3 to 9 hours and can be detected in the urine for 2 to 4 days after ingestion.
Interpretation
  • For patients prescribed only hydromorphone, hydromorphone alone should be detected in the urine sample.
  • If hydrocodone is detected, hydromorphone could be present as a metabolite rather than ingestion.
  • As stated in the hydrocodone section, hydromorphone alone may be detected at low concentrations due to metabolism of hydrocodone if it has been several days since ingestion.