How Effective is Demerol & What are its Side Effects?

Consumption of demerol or meperidine can inhibit or stop one’s breathing and this happens especially when the person starts using demerol or meperidine or whenever the medicine dosage is changed. It is advised not to take the medicine in large amounts, or for periods longer than prescribed. Other thing about demerol or meperidine are that it should not be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse/addiction. The medication demerol or meperidine should be kept in a place where others cannot reach.

How Effective is Demerol or Meperidine?

How Effective is Demerol or Meperidine?

Demerol or Meperidine is a pain medication with opium content. An opioid implies anything related to the substance opium which is a narcotic. Demerol or meperidine is effectively used to treat pain (moderate-to-severe).

There are situations when the use of demerol or meperidine is prohibited. One should avoid using the substance if they have severe asthma/ problems related to breathing.

If demerol or meperidine is taken at regular doses then also the patients form a habit of taking the same especially because of the intoxication that it lends. The patients have a tendency to take more of the medicine because of the same. To the patients who take this medicine, it is advised to take demerol or meperidine according to that as prescribed by the doctor. It is absolutely advised not to share the medicine with another person. If you check the misuse of such narcotic pain medication then you understand that it can lead to overdose, addiction, or even death, especially in a child or persons who are using the medicine without any prescription.

If the medicine demerol or meperidine is stopped all of a sudden then it often causes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. For a mother who is pregnant, the medicine can cause miscarriages to happen. It is advised to those who consume the medicine, not to drink alcohol as it can cause severe side effects including death.

What to do Before taking Demerol or Meperidine?

Avoid using demerol or meperidine if you are allergic to meperidine, or if you have asthmatic or breathing problems.

It is suggested not to use Demerol if you use or have used a MAO inhibitor (in the past 14 days) as if you use demerol or meperidine then a dangerous drug interaction may occur. MAO inhibitors comprise of linezolid, isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, selegiline, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, rasagiline, and others.

Some medicines can interact with demerol or meperidine & cause a serious condition termed as serotonin syndrome. One needs to be sure that the doctor knows if you are taking medicine for mental illness, depression, parkinson’s disease, serious infections, migraine headaches, or medicines that prevent nausea and vomiting. Seek advice from the doctor prior to making any changes as far as how or when the medications need to be taken.

To ensure demerol or meperidine is safe for the patient, the doctor needs to know if you have:

  • Any type of lung disease or breathing problem;
  • A stomach or intestine blockage;
  • A history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
  • A history of alcohol addiction, drug abuse, or mental illness;
  • Urination problems;
  • Diseases related to liver or kidney;
  • Problems with the adrenal gland, gallbladder, or thyroid;
  • Sickle cell anemia;
  • Abnormal curvature of the spinal cord that affects breathing; or
  • If you use sedatives like Valium/alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, Klonopin, Ativan, Tranxene, Restoril, Xanax, Versed, and others.

It is not clear whether demerol or meperidine is deadly for an unborn baby. However, it is believed that this medicine may cause breathing problems in the newborn especially if the mother takes the medication during late pregnancy. If you are a pregnant lady tell the doctor before taking any such medicines.

Meperidine can pass into the breast milk; it can harm a nursing baby. Therefore, it is advised not to breast-feed while using Demerol.

How to Take Demerol or Meperidine?

Take demerol or meperidine exactly according to the doctor’s prescription. Follow the directions mentioned on the prescription label. The chemical Meperidine can inhibit or stop breathing, especially when the person starts using this medicine or whenever the medicine dosage is changed. Avoid taking demerol or meperidine in large amounts, or for a period longer than prescribed by the doctor. Tell the doctor if the medicine proves to be ineffective in relieving pain.

Avoid stopping the medicine use all of a sudden after long-term use, because there are unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Seek advice from the doctor how to avoid the withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Demerol.

Avoid crushing or breaking a tablet to inhale the powder. Avoid mixing the crushed medicine into a liquid with the purpose of injecting the drug into your vein. The misuse of meperidine and other allied drugs has resulted in the death of the users.

Store the drug at room temperature and keep it away from heat/moisture.

Track the amount of medicine used. Demerol should not be used improperly or without a prescription.

What are the Side Effects of Demerol or Meperidine?

The side effects of demerol or meperidine are:

Get medical help if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction to the use of demerol or meperidine: Such reactions include hives; swelling of your face, tongue, throat or lips; difficulty in breathing. Stop using the medicine and seek the help of your doctor if you have:

  • Weak breathing and slow heartbeat;
  • Severe drowsiness and feeling that you may pass out;
  • Confusion, agitation, mood changes, hallucinations;
  • Muscle movements you cannot control, tremors, or convulsions;
  • Missed menstrual periods or infertility;
  • Impotence, loss of interest in sex, sexual problems; or
  • Low levels of cortisol – nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, dizziness, weakness or tiredness.

Seek medical help if demerol or meperidine causes symptoms of the serotonin syndrome, like agitation, fever, sweating, hallucinations, fast heart rate, shivering, twitching, muscle stiffness, nausea, loss of coordination, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 10, 2017

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