Demerol

(meperidine)

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Treats moderate to severe pain.

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Our bottom line

Demerol (meperidine) is not considered a first line option for pain management, and is typically only tried when other options haven't worked for you.

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    $21.33
Quick facts about Demerol
  • Drug class: Pain
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (meperidine)

Upsides

  • Demerol (meperidine) is available as a cheaper generic.
  • Available as liquid solution if you are not able to take pills.
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What to expect from Demerol, on one page

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Downsides

  • Demerol (meperidine) is not a first line medication used to treat pain.
  • Demerol (meperidine) can be habit-forming and addicting.
  • Long-term use may lead to lower sex hormone levels. This can lead to change in sex drive in men, no menstrual period in women, or fertility problems.
  • Demerol (meperidine) should be avoided if you have kidney problems.
  • Cannot be used if you are currently taking, or have taken in the last 14 days, certain medications commonly used for depression or Parkinson's called monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
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How it works

Demerol (meperidine) binds to opioid receptors and lowers perception of pain in the brain.

Quick facts about Demerol
  • Drug class: Pain
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (meperidine)

Used for

  • Pain management

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Liquid
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Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Demerol (meperidine) for Pain management

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  • First few hoursHours
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  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
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  • Possible side effects
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
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Side effect rates for Demerol (meperidine)

Risks and Warnings for Demerol (meperidine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dose of Demerol (meperidine)

    Taking too much of Demerol (meperidine) can cause irregular or slow breathing that can put you in a coma and can cause death. Demerol (meperidine) pills should be swallowed whole, don't crush or chew. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes. Always check with your doctor before starting any new medicines or supplements.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Demerol (meperidine)

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Interactions
  • Demerol (meperidine) can interact with your other medicines, which can change how it affects your body and pain overall. Some medications can increase the concentration of Demerol (meperidine) or prolong adverse drug effects and cause potentially fatal respiratory depression (slowed breathing). Other medicines can decrease the drug concentration and inadequately control your pain. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist in order to optimize your medication regimen. While taking Demerol (meperidine), don't start any new prescription or over the counter medications until confirming with your doctor or pharmacist that it is safe to do so.
  • Demerol (meperidine) interacts with many medications, and can cause deadly breathing problems. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting a new prescription or over the counter medication to avoid dangerous interactions.
Alcohol
  • Don't take Demerol (meperidine) with alcohol or products that contain alcohol.
Kidneys and liver
  • Demerol (meperidine) should be avoided if you have kidney problems.
Sleep
  • Demerol (meperidine) can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Until you know how Demerol (meperidine) affects you, avoid driving and using machinery that requires you to be alert.