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What is Demerol?
Demerol or Meperidine is an opioid drug used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is a strong prescription pain medicine for managing relief pain in the short term when you can not tolerate other pain treatments like non-opioid pain medicines.
If you have severe asthma or breathing difficulties, you should not use Demerol. Do not use Demerol if you used MAO inhibitors such as Isocarboxazid, Linezolid, Phenelzine, Methylene blue injection, Rasagiline, Selegiline, or Tranylcypromine in the last 14 days. Demerol can slow down or stop your breathing and may be habit-forming. Using this medicine during pregnancy may lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. If you take Demerol with alcohol or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow breathing, it can have fatal side effects.
What to know before taking Demerol?
You should not use Demerol if you are allergic to Meperidine, have severe asthma or breathing problems, or have stomach or intestine blockages. If you have used MAO inhibitors in the last 14 days, do not use Demerol. There may be a dangerous drug interaction. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, injection of methylene blue, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine. To make sure Demerol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you ever had:
- a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures
- drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness
- liver or kidney disease
- sickle cell anemia
- breathing problems, sleep apnea
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines
- urination problems
- problems in your gallbladder, adrenal gland, or thyroid
- unnecessary curvature of the spine that affects breathing
Your baby could become dependent on the medicine if you are using Demerol while you are pregnant. It can lead to life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal after birth in the baby. Do not breastfeed while taking Demerol. Meperidine can enter the breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing difficulties, or death in a nursing baby.
How to take Demerol?
Take Demerol as prescribed by your doctor. Follow your prescription label instructions and read all your medication guides. Never use Meperidine for longer than prescribed or in large amounts. Inform your doctor if you have an increased desire to use this medicine. Demerol may be habit-forming. Never give this medication to anyone else, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Take Demerol tablets by mouth. Demerol injection is administered as an infusion into a vein or an injection into a muscle or the skin. A healthcare provider will administer this injection. If you stop taking this medication abruptly after a long period of use, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Inquire with your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medication. Never crush or break a Demerol tablet to inhale the powder or mix it with a liquid to inject it into your vein. The misuse of prescription drugs has resulted in death as a result of this practice. Do not keep unused Demerol tablets. A single dose of this medication can be fatal if taken incorrectly or accidentally.
Usual Adult Dose for Pain:
Take 50 to 150 mg orally every 3 to 4 hours as needed. The maximum amount is 600 mg per day.
An overdose of Meperidine can be fatal, mainly when used without prescription by a child or other person. The overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, slow breathing and heart rate, muscle weakness, blue-colored skin or lips, cold and clammy skin, fainting, or coma.
What to avoid while using Demerol?
Do not drink alcohol while using Demerol. When alcohol is with Meperidine, dangerous side effects or death may occur. Never drive or do risky activities until you know how this medicine affects you. Dizziness or drowsiness may lead to falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Demerol side effects
Opioid medicine can slow down or stop your breathing and may cause death. If you have to breathe with long pauses, blue lips or are difficult to wake up, someone caring for you should seek emergency medical attention. Some common side effects of Demerol may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness
- nausea, vomiting
Stop using Demerol and call your doctor immediately if you have:
- slow heartbeats, weak or shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep
- confusion, mood changes
- muscle movements you cannot control, tremors, or a seizure (convulsions)
- extreme drowsiness
- severe constipation
- low cortisol levels, which includes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness, or weakness
You should get medical attention at once if you have any symptoms of serotonin syndrome such as hallucinations, fever, agitation, fast heart rate, sweating, shivering, muscle stiffness, loss of coordination, twitching, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. Serious side effects of this drug may be more likely in older people and those who are malnourished or debilitated. The long-term use of opioid drugs may affect the fertility of men or women (the ability to have children). Whether opioids have a permanent impact on fertility is not known.
What drugs can interact with Demerol?
If you start or stop taking other medications, you may experience breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms. If you are taking an antibiotic, antifungal medication, heart or blood pressure medication, seizure medication, HIV or hepatitis C medication, tell your doctor. Other medications may interfere with the removal of Meperidine from your body, affecting how Meperidine works. Some of the examples of these medicines include:
- azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole)
- macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin)
- rifamycins (such as rifabutin)
- seizure medications (such as carbamazepine and phenytoin).
Opioids can interact with many other medicines and cause dangerous side effects or death. Tell your doctor if you also use the following drugs:
- sedatives like Valium – diazepam, alprazolam, Xanax, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Versed, and others
- other narcotic medications – opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine
- Drugs that affect Serotonin amount in the body – a stimulant or medicine for depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or nausea and vomiting
- drugs that make you sleepy – a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, medicine to treat mood disorders or mental illness