Demerol

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Meperidine hydrochloride is a white crystalline substance with a melting point of 186° C to 189° C. It is readily soluble in water and has a neutral reaction and a slightly bitter taste. The solution is not decomposed by a short period of boiling.

The tablets contain 50 mg or 100 mg of DEMEROL brand of meperidine hydrochloride.

Inactive Ingredients: Calcium Sulfate, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Starch, Stearic Acid, Talc.

Chemically, DEMEROL is 4-Piperidinecarboxylic acid, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-, ethyl ester, hydrochloride and has the following structure:

Demerol® (meperidine hydrochloride, USP) Structural Formula Illustration

What are the possible side effects of meperidine (Demerol HCl)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • cold, clammy skin;
  • confusion;
  • severe weakness or dizziness; or
  • feeling light-headed, fainting.

Less serious side effects may include:

    ...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Demerol »

What are the precautions when taking meperidine (Demerol)?

Before taking meperidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing problems (e.g., respiratory depression, carbon dioxide retention), a certain bowel disease (paralytic ileus), severe infectious diarrhea (e.g., Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea), intoxication with drugs that can cause drowsiness or slow/shallow breathing (e.g., alcohol or tranquilizers/sedatives).

Before taking this medication, tell your...

Read All Potential Precautions of Demerol »


Demerol Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, flushing, sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, and drowsiness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative (e.g., stimulant-type with stool softener).

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, fainting, slow/irregular/fast heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, hallucinations, nervousness), numbness, shakiness (tremors), trouble urinating.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, seizures, change in the amount of urine.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking meperidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing problems (e.g., respiratory depression, carbon dioxide retention), a certain bowel disease (paralytic ileus), severe infectious diarrhea (e.g., Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea), intoxication with drugs that can cause drowsiness or slow/shallow breathing (e.g., alcohol or tranquilizers/sedatives).

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: abdominal problems (e.g., gallbladder disease, pancreatitis), adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison's disease, pheochromocytoma), large blood loss (e.g., recent blood donation, stomach/intestinal bleeding), brain disorders (e.g., seizures, head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure), heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure), kidney disease, liver disease, lung diseases (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, emphysema), mental/mood disorders (e.g., depression, toxic psychosis), personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, sickle cell anemia, a certain spinal problem (kyphoscoliosis), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), trouble urinating (e.g., due to enlarged prostate or narrowing of the urethra).

Meperidine is usually only used for a short time. Repeated or high doses may cause drug levels to build up in the body and cause serious side effects such as seizures and shaking. Caution is advised if this medication is used for conditions which require long-term or high-dosage treatment (e.g., sickle cell anemia, burns, cancer). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

To lower your risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially confusion and drowsiness.

Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially drowsiness.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Using it for long periods or in high doses near the expected delivery date is not recommended because of possible harm to the unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have used this medication for an extended time may have withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, or diarrhea. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn.

This drug passes into breast milk and is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Demerol Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Demerol HCl

Generic Name: meperidine (Pronunciation: me PER i deen)

  • What is meperidine (Demerol)?
  • What are the possible side effects of meperidine (Demerol)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about meperidine (Demerol)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking meperidine (Demerol)?
  • How should I take meperidine (Demerol)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Demerol)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Demerol)?
  • What should I avoid while taking meperidine (Demerol)?
  • What other drugs will affect meperidine (Demerol)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is meperidine (Demerol)?

Meperidine is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers. It is similar to morphine.

Meperidine is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain.

Meperidine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of meperidine (Demerol)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • cold, clammy skin;
  • confusion;
  • severe weakness or dizziness; or
  • feeling light-headed, fainting.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • dizziness, headache;
  • dry mouth;
  • sweating;
  • itching;
  • urinating less than usual; or
  • loss of interest in sex.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about meperidine (Demerol)?

Meperidine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Meperidine should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking meperidine. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with a narcotic pain medicine. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.

Never take more than your prescribed dose of meperidine. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Meperidine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Do not stop using meperidine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.

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