As a narcotic, Exalgo (hydromorphone ER) can lead to physical dependence when taken for a long time, and some people may develop an addiction. However, there is a significant difference between true addiction and a simple physical dependence on the drug. The consequences of abusing Exalgo can be dangerous, possibly resulting in breathing problems, coma, and even death.
Abusing Exalgo: An OverviewExalgo™ (hydromorphone ER) is a prescription narcotic pain medication. It is an extended-release formulation of hydromorphone, a narcotic that may be abused. Exalgo misuse can be extremely dangerous, perhaps even more so than with other narcotics.
Exalgo Abuse Versus Dependence and ToleranceAs a narcotic, Exalgo leads to physical dependence. However, physical dependence is not a sign of abuse; it is a predictable, physical response to chronic use of the narcotic. The body becomes accustomed to physical changes that this pain medication causes, and stopping the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms. This is not necessarily a sign of abuse, and it should not be assumed that someone who is physically dependent on Exalgo is abusing the medication.
In addition, the body becomes "tolerant" to the effects of Exalgo, and more is necessary to produce the same pain-relieving effects. Again, this is not a sign of abuse; it is a predictable, physical response. People who have been on narcotics for a long time can take enormous doses that would lead to death in a first-time user.