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Demerol Risks

Demerol® (meperidine hydrochloride) is a prescription pain reliever. It is an older medication that was very popular for decades. However, due to certain risks associated with Demerol, its use has fallen out of favor with most healthcare providers.
It is possible to experience both physical and psychological dependence with Demerol. This risk is higher for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. You should never take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with Demerol abuse, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
Other risks include problems with toxicity (the drug is transformed in the body into a toxic metabolite) and serious side effects. Some of the potentially serious side effects that may occur with the narcotic drug include:
  • Agitation, disorientation, or hallucinations
  • Shakiness, seizures, muscle twitches, or other abnormal muscle movements
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia) or fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) or high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Chest pain or heart palpitations
  • Signs of an allergic reaction.
(Click Demerol Side Effects and Demerol Warnings and Precautions to learn about other possible risks with Demerol, for more information on who should not use this medication, and to find out what other side effects may occur.)
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