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What Is Demerol Used For?

Demerol® (meperidine hydrochloride) is an older narcotic drug that has been around for a while. Many people may have heard of it, but what is it actually used for?
All forms of this medication are approved to treat moderate to severe pain. Injectable Demerol is also approved for the following additional uses:
  • Preoperative sedation (before a surgery)
  • Anesthesia (when used with other medications)
  • Pain relief during labor and childbirth.
Although Demerol has a long-standing tradition as a popular pain reliever, it has fallen out of favor in recent years due to its ability to produce a unique group of serious side effects. For this reason (along with the awareness that the medicine has no specific benefits over other, safer opioids), many hospitals now recommend that oral Demerol be avoided and that the injection be used only in the following situations:
  • Prevention and treatment of rigors (shivering) caused by certain drugs or blood transfusions
  • Treatment of shivering after surgeries
  • Short-term treatment (less than 48 yours) of pain in people with normal kidney, liver, and central nervous system function if other opioids cannot be given (such as if the patient is allergic to other opioids).
(Click Demerol Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, to find out how Demerol works, and to learn about possible off-label uses for this pain reliever.)
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