What is meperidine?
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 purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to meperidine, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take meperidine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.
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.
Before using meperidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
- liver or kidney disease;
- underactive thyroid;
- curvature of the spine;
- a history of head injury or brain tumor;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- low blood pressure;
- gallbladder disease;
- Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
- enlarged prostate, urination problems;
- mental illness; or
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, and could cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Meperidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication.
Do not drink alcohol while you are using meperidine. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with meperidine. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.
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.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of meperidine can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, fainting, or coma.
Since meperidine is sometimes used as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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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;
- severe weakness or dizziness; or
- feeling light-headed, fainting.
Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
- dizziness, headache;
- dry mouth;
- 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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Do not take meperidine with other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.
Before taking meperidine, tell your doctor if you are using pentazocine (Talwin), nalbuphine (Nubain), butorphanol (Stadol), or buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex). If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use meperidine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with meperidine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Demerol HCl and meperidine
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04