Pain Home > Exalgo

Exalgo is approved for the treatment of pain. This long-acting prescription medication is designed to slowly release the pain reliever over an extended period. The drug comes in tablet form, and is typically taken once a day. Possible side effects include constipation, drowsiness, and nausea. Because it is a narcotic, Exalgo has the potential for abuse.

What Is Exalgo?

Exalgo™ (hydromorphone ER) is a long-acting prescription pain medication. It should only be used when around-the-clock use of strong painkillers is necessary for an extended period (more than a few days).
(Click Exalgo Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Exalgo?

Exalgo is made by Mallinckrodt Brand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Exalgo tablets are specially designed to release hydromorphone over an extended period. As a result, instead of taking short-acting hydromorphone (Dilaudid®) several times a day, you can just take Exalgo once a day.
Hydromorphone is an opioid narcotic medication that is chemically related to morphine. It binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces several different effects. These effects include but are not limited to:
  • Pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowing of the digestive tract
  • Cough suppression
  • Release of histamine (which often causes itching)
  • Unusual, unpleasant feelings (dysphoria) or unusual, pleasant feelings (euphoria)
  • Decreased breathing (slow or shallow breathing)
  • Certain changes in the circulatory system
  • Physical dependence.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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