Meperidine or Meperidine hydrochloride is an opioid-based, prescription-only pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain over the short term. Meperidine is part of a class of drugs that are also known as narcotic analgesics, and is not dissimilar to morphine. Due to the drug’s habit-forming nature, Meperidine addiction and abuse is common, and long-term use is not recommended.
Meperidine is often used in labor and childbirth, and is prescribed to treat pain related to heart attacks, cancer and pain from chronic or acute injuries. It is usually prescribed to be taken every few hours, and this combined with its euphoric effects can facilitate Meperidine abuse. Meperidine is available in tablet or liquid form, and can be swallowed, snorted or injected.
Common Street Names for Meperidine
Meperidine is commonly known by the brand name Demerol, its longer name Meperidine hydrochloride or by the generic term “pain killer”. Common Demerol street names are Pethidine, Mapergan or Isonipecaine, while more colloquial Demerol street names include demmies, smack, juice, D and dillies.
Meperidine is part of a medication class called narcotic analgesics. It is an FDA Schedule II drug, that is, a drug considered to have a high potential for abuse, and one that may lead to psychological or physiological dependence. Meperidine was first introduced as a drug in the 1930s.
History and Trends in Meperidine Addiction and Abuse
Meperidine addiction and abuse often results from taking prescribed medication contrary to medical recommendations, or when a user has built up a tolerance to Meperidine or another opioid and requires stronger or more frequent dosages.
Research indicates that prescription opioid addiction is becoming more widespread, partly due to the increase in prescriptions. In some instances these issues relate to the inappropriate dispensing of painkillers, with drugs such as Meperidine being dispensed in quantities that made abuse likely.
Overdoses are a risk, and research indicates that those who die of prescription drug overdoses often have a prior history of opioid addiction. Pharmaceutical diversion and abuse of drugs such as Meperidine are becoming increasing issues for law enforcement, with gang involvement and associated crime interrelated problems. Older people and those with other prescription drug or opioid additions are at risk of Meperidine addiction.
Side effects of Meperidine
Common side effects of Meperidine include:
- Mood changes
- Extreme calm
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Vision issues
More serious side effects include:
- Breathing issues
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Muscle twitches
- Rapid heartbeat
Use of Meperidine is strongly advised against for those with asthma or breathing problems. Additionally, it may interact with other medications to affect serotonin production, with potentially serious consequences for those with a history of mental illness or neurological conditions.
Like all narcotics, it can cause addiction, overdose or even death, particularly for those with supressed immune systems, when used other than prescribed, or when used by children. Taking Meperidine in conjunction with alcohol or other medications can also result in severe side effects.
Withdrawal symptoms of Meperidine
Meperidine is an opioid, and can have severe withdrawal symptoms. Even when taken as prescribed, withdrawal symptoms can occur if Meperidine has been taken for longer than a few weeks.
Withdrawal symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, muscular pain, congestion, sweating and chills, gastrointestinal issues, loss of appetite and an increased heartrate and breathing rate. Newborns and infants may suffer serious withdrawal consequences if their mother has taken Meperidine during pregnancy.
Treatment for Meperidine Addiction and Abuse
Meperidine addiction is a serious issue, and withdrawal symptoms can make it a challenging dependence to break without professional guidance. Detoxification programs remove addicted individuals from their usual routines and thus the triggers and habits that facilitate the addiction.
They may also include withdrawal management, along with a counseling component that can help identify or manage any underlying issues related to the addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Meperidine abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us at White Sands Tampa regarding a personalized detoxification program for your Meperidine addiction today. Call now – 1-877-640-7820.