Meperidine is a drug that is classified as being an opioid painkiller and this does mean that it can be referred to as being a narcotic. People will tend to take this particular drug in order to deal with moderate to severe pain, but it is possible for a person to become addicted to it over a period of time. This particular drug has been around for a reasonable length of time as the Meperidine history starts in the 1930s and it is fair to say that it has had a rather checkered history as will be explained below.
The drug itself first appeared in 1939 as it was created in laboratories that were based deep inside Nazi Germany and it was initially created by their very own scientists. This does tend to instantly make people wonder as to why it was used, but in actual fact there was nothing sinister about its creation at the time. The drug itself is entirely man-made and it is believed that the theory behind its creation was to initially make a drug that was a far more powerful anticholinergic drug that would be able to block acetylcholine in both the central nervous system as well as peripheral nervous system.
After its initial creation, the scientists did begin to discover how well it worked as a pain killer and this was the point where pharmacologists started to look upon it as being an alternative to morphine. This then led to it initially being sold in vials or ampules so it could be injected and this made it more popular to morphine since this was only available in tablet form at this point and clearly injections will get the drug into the system quicker as the tablet had to be made into a solution before it could be injected.
It is perhaps worthwhile going back to the point that was made earlier about it being man-made because this is another way in which it is different to the likes of Morphine or Codeine, which are both powerful pain killers of course as both of these appear naturally in the opium poppy. This meant that scientists had to have the poppy, extract it, make it into tablet form, and then give it to people whereas they quickly identified the possibilities of making Meperidine on a mass scale due to the ease with which it could be manufactured as well as the difference in costs.
Over the next few decades from its manufacture, scientists and pharmacologists focused on prescribing people Meperidine due to their belief that it was less addictive and certainly less harmful than drugs such as Morphine, but the truth of the matter is that this was certainly not the case. Instead, Meperidine did lead to people developing an addiction to it, but it is perhaps fair to say that now the prescription of Meperidine is certainly on the wane due to the realization that it does come with various side effects and that it is just as addictive as Morphine.
Aside from its use in pain relief, Meperidine has also gained a kind of notoriety as it was the main drug that people were trying to make when they ended up making MPTP by accident in the late 1940s. This then led to a completely different type of analgesic being produced, but the only reason why it happened was because of it being known amongst scientists and users that it was possible to make your own via a series of rather complicated chemical reactions.
Since its origins in Nazi Germany, it is fair to say that the Meperidine history will show it has certainly had an eventful life as it has gone from being manufactured to tackle a problem not related to dealing with pain to being one of the most widely used painkillers of its day back to being surpassed by drugs such as Codeine and Morphine. People have even tried to make their own artificial drugs along with it now being used more by doctors as a cheaper alternative to other drugs on the market as it does dull the pain even though it can leave you feeling very ill and developing an addiction in next to no time.