Meperidine hydrochlorideis (Demerol) an synthetic opioid analgesic, developed in 1932, to control moderate to severe pain. Like other narcotic drugs, it is highly addictive and widely abused. It is a Schedule II narcotic. It acts in much the same way as morphine and impacts the central nervous system. The drug relieves pain and has a sedative effect.
Like any opioid, meperidine carries serious side effects, even when therapeutic doses are administered. Patients have been known to experience serve reactions, even death. Some reactions have been coma, respiratory depression, convulsions, increased blood pressure, accelerated heart rate and increased body temperature.
Doctors will make every effort to insure that a patient is suitable for using meperidine, such as administering small doses of morphine, in a strict clinical setting. If there is an adverse reaction, there is a drug protocol to follow to counteract the negative side effects.
Only to be used short-term
Meperidine is meant for short-term use and it is not intended to treat chronic pain. In the right amount, in s short time period, it is useful in treating acute cases of moderate to severe pain, but prolonged use of this drug can lead to toxicity. An example of this would be the patient having seizures.
Most importantly, meperidine is easily abused. Even when prescribed by a doctor and used for legitimate, medical purposes, people will take the drug too often, or take too much drug in an attempt to control pain. They are at risk of developing a physiological or psychological dependence on the drug, thinking that they need the drug to feel good or to feel “normal.” The more you know about meperidine abuse, the more you will do to avoid it.
Because it is an opioid, drug addicts/abusers will use it to get “high.” They can crush it and snort it, dissolve it in water and inject it, or even take it orally. The improper use of meperidine will produce a euphoric “rush” that impacts the reward center of the brain. Whenever this drug is used improperly it can put the user in jeopardy of serious risks.
For example, because of the sedating effect the drug has, it is easy to understand that as it begins to wear off and the person wants to continue the euphoric feeling, they take more. Long-term users build a tolerance to the drug and so it takes more to achieve the same effects as before. Therefore, overdose is always a concern. Learning about meperidine abuse is also helpful.
Never use alcohol with meperidine
Meperidine should never be taken in conjunction with alcohol or other opioids, illicit or legal. When people this drug with other opioid drugs or alcohol, it increases the risk of serious central nervous system depression, such as respiratory failure. If a person has sustained a head injury, narcotics will alter the balance of spinal fluid, a potentially disastrous situation in the emergency room.
Because meperidine can depress respiratory function, people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are at risk to the ill effects of the drug. Even in low doses, or under close supervision, complications can arise.
This drug also can impair mental and physical abilities, because of its sedative action and impact on the central nervous system. People using this should not operate complicated equipment or drive cars. Meperidine is not recommended for nursing mothers, as the drug can make its way into breast milk and harm the baby. It's important to learn about meperidine abuse before you consider using.
Sometimes difficult to detect abuse
The signs of meperidine abuse can be difficult to spot. When a person uses the drug for legitimate purposes, the signs of abuse and addiction can creep up almost unnoticed. A person may just be taking too much of the drug, or once the recommended treatment period is over, they want to continue using the drug because they have developed a dependence. Still, people can function and appear to be fine and be in denial about meperidine abuse.
But soon just taking the drug is not enough. They go beyond the recommendations and crush the drug to dissolve it in water and inject it, or they want to snort it like people snort cocaine. Either method produces a rush that users enjoy. The problem escalates from there and makes you seek information about meperidine abuse.
Very dangerous game
Getting meperidine is expensive, so opioid abusers learn that using the prescription medication will be too costly, so they turn to heroin. They desire the opiate high, but in the case of street heroin, they do not know what they are buying. They do not know what dose they are receiving or what the drug is cut with. It’s a dangerous game.
Follow doctor’s orders
Addiction leads to the destruction of lives, lost income, societal costs. The best way to avoid meperidine abuse is to follow doctor’s orders and not cross the line. If there is a great risk of addiction, find another solution to pain management.