Pain Home > Demerol

Demerol is a prescription pain reliever that was once very popular. Due to serious side effects that have been reported with this drug, however, it is often only used when other medications are not appropriate. The drug binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces numerous effects, including pain relief and sedation. This medicine comes in tablet, oral solution (liquid), and injectable form.

What Is Demerol?

Demerol® (meperidine hydrochloride) is an opiate pain reliever. Although it was a very popular pain reliever for decades, it has fallen out of favor in recent years due to its ability to produce a unique group of serious side effects. As a result, its use is usually limited to very specific situations in which other medications are not appropriate.
Demerol is a narcotic and is a "controlled substance" in the United States.
(Click Demerol Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Demerol?

Brand-name Demerol tablets and oral solution are made by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. Brand-name Demerol injectable products are made by Hospira, Inc. Generic versions of this drug are made by various manufacturers.

How Does Demerol Work?

Demerol is a narcotic, opiate pain reliever. It binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces numerous different effects, most notably pain relief and sedation.

Abuse Potential

Demerol has a significant potential for both psychological and physical dependence and abuse. In fact, it is classified as a controlled substance, meaning there are special rules and regulations for prescribing and obtaining the medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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