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What Is Demerol?

Demerol® (meperidine hydrochloride) is a medication that has been around for decades. Many people may have heard of this drug but may still wonder, "What is Demerol?"
 
This prescription medicine is an opiate pain reliever that is approved to treat moderate to severe pain. Injectable forms of Demerol are also approved for other uses, including preoperative sedation (before a surgery), anesthesia (when used with other medications), and pain relief during labor and childbirth.
 
A number of potentially serious side effects have been reported with Demerol. Some of these side effects include seizures, hallucinations, slow or irregular breathing, and chest pain or heart palpitations. Due to Demerol's ability to produce such serious side effects, many hospitals now only recommend that the medication be used 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 and Demerol Side Effects for more information on what Demerol is used for, to learn about other potential side effects of this medicine, and to find out how the painkiller works.)
 
Warning: 10 Hidden Sources of Lactose
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