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Meperidine (Injection)

Meperidine (me-PER-i-deen)

Treats pain. This medicine is a narcotic pain reliever.

Brand Name(s):

Demerol, Demerol Hydrochloride

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to meperidine, or if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (Nardil®, Marplan®, Parnate®, Eldepryl®) within the past 2 weeks.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It may also be given by a home health caregiver.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • If you receive this medicine through a tube inserted into a vein (an IV injection), this medicine needs to be given slowly, so the needle will remain in place for about an hour.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using phenothiazines (such as Compazine®, Phenergan®, Serentil®, Thorazine®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy (such as sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain killers, or sedatives).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma or other lung disease, heart rhythm problems, epilepsy, stomach or digestive problems, kidney disease, liver disease, low thyroid, Addison's disease, problems with urination, prostate problems, or have had a recent head injury.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not take more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • This medicine may cause constipation, especially with long-term use. Ask your doctor if you should use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, unusual thoughts, hallucinations
  • Extreme weakness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath, shallow breathing
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot is given
  • Sweating

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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


Last Updated: 8/4/2014


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