Demerol is an opioid analgesic or pain medication.
It is used as a treatment for moderate to severe pain that requires opioid medications when other analgesics fail to relieve pain adequately. Demerol may be prescribed to manage pain after childbirth. It is also used to induce sleep in patients prior to surgical procedures.
Demerol works by binding to opioid receptors found in the central nervous system to relieve chronic pain. Compared to other narcotics, Demerol’s effects are not long lasting.
How Does Someone Take Demerol?
Demerol, which is the brand name for meperidine, comes in the following forms:
How Do Intake Methods Compare?
Demerol in the form of a tablet should be swallowed whole.
The tablet should not be crushed, chewed, or broken in any way. Crushing Demerol tablets has led to death due to the neglect of prescribed directions from a medical professional.
Dosing will be different for each patient. Individuals should strictly follow the directives given by their doctor.
Any dosage changes should only be made under the supervision of a medical professional. Amounts vary depending on the strength of the medication. This affects the number of doses a patient will take each day, the time between doses, and the duration over which the medication will be used.
If the intake is in the form of meperidine syrup, each dose should be carefully measured, and the patient should adhere to the dosage directions given by a medical professional. It is imperative to use an actual dose-measuring spoon, dosing syringe, or medicine cup for precise measurements rather than an ordinary household tablespoon or teaspoon.
The dose of liquid Demerol should be mixed with half a glass of water. Otherwise, numbing of the mouth may occur.
Meperidine injection comes in the form of a liquid that is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously), into a muscle (intramuscularly), or into a vein (intravenously).
Injections are usually administered once every three to four hours or as directed by a medical professional. Doses of Demerol injections should not be adjusted unless advised by a doctor.
Prior to taking any form of Demerol, a patient should undergo a consultation with their doctor and disclose the use of any other drugs (prescribed or recreational).
Specific Dangers of Demerol
If used for a long time, Demerol can become habit-forming and result in mental or physical dependence. When meperidine is used to relieve pain under the direction of a medical professional, addiction or mental dependence is unlikely to occur.
Abrupt cessation of Demerol intake after a period of sustained use can lead to withdrawal and other health risks. It is highly likely that this medication will cause withdrawal symptoms if used regularly for a long duration or at high levels of consumption.
A patient should consult their doctor if they have been taking Demerol for more than a few weeks prior to stopping the medication. Medical professionals will most likely advise a gradual decrease in the dosage to avoid severe withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms from Demerol may include the following:
- Watery eyes
- Muscle pain
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Trouble sleeping
- Fast breathing
- Accelerated heartbeat
- Back pain
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
Drinking Alcohol While Taking Demerol
Combining alcohol with painkillers like Demerol for recreational purposes to intensify effects may lead to intensified sedation, problems breathing, complications of the liver, and other serious issues.
Despite the desired effects of pain relief, meperidine may cause some undesired effects that should prompt immediate communication with a medical professional.
These side effects may include the following:
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Overactive reflexes
- Painful urination
- Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- Tightness in the chest
- Upper abdominal or stomach pain
- Redness of the face, neck arms, or upper chest
- Poor coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Mental depression
Some signs of an overdose may include the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Change in consciousness
- Slowed breathing
- Loose, floppy muscles
- Cold, clammy skin
- Blurred vision
- Slow heartbeat
- Extreme sleepiness
- Blue colored skin or lips
- Decreased awareness or responsiveness
Patients should remain in communication with their medical professionals while taking Demerol for pain relief.
Any change in dosages should only be made under the advisement of a doctor to avoid severe withdrawal or overdose.