What is Demerol?
Demerol (meperidine) is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Demerol is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain.
Demerol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Demerol if you have severe asthma or breathing problems.
Demerol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Demerol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never share the medicine with another person. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with meperidine.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Demerol if you are allergic to meperidine, or if you have severe asthma or breathing problems.
Do not use Demerol if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
Some medicines can interact with meperidine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
To make sure Demerol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines;
- a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
- a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
- urination problems;
- liver or kidney disease;
- problems with your gallbladder, adrenal gland, or thyroid;
- sickle cell anemia; or
- abnormal curvature of the spine that affects breathing.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Demerol will harm an unborn baby. This medicine may cause breathing problems in your newborn if you use the medication during late pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Meperidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Demerol.
How should I take Demerol?
Take Demerol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Meperidine can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take Demerol in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Demerol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away Demerol is against the law.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not stop using Demerol suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine.
Never crush or break a tablet to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of meperidine and similar prescription drugs.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Demerol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Do not keep leftover Demerol tablets or liquid. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush any unused tablets or liquid down the toilet. Disposal of medicines by flushing is recommended to reduce the danger of accidental overdose causing death. This advice applies to a very small number of medicines only. The FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal and presents the least risk to human safety.