Meperidine is an opioid or narcotic medication given for pain relief. It is used for treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is also used prior to or during surgery or other procedures, along with other types of pain relieving medication. Meperidine hydrochloride is a crystalline substance of white color.
Like most medicines, this narcotic can cause side effects. However, the side effects are not noticed in all the people taking the drug. Some of the common side effects include light headedness, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, nausea and sweating. These effects are temporary and go by their own.
However, in some cases, serious side effects are seen due to the effect of a toxic metabolite (normeperidine). Normeperidine is a byproduct of meperidine and stays in the body much longer than the meperidine. If repeated doses of meperidine are taken, the by-product builds up in the body and causes serious side effects. Some of the serious effects of this drug are-
Agitation, disorientation, slow heart rate, fainting, confusion, seizures, coma, slow or irregular breathing, chest pain and heart palpitations, difficulty in passing urine and signs of allergic reaction.
If you notice any of the above mentioned signs or symptoms, call your physician immediately.
This highly-potent narcotic pain reliever is addictive when compared to other substances. Long term use of this drug can lead to tolerance and dependence. It often has a higher incidence of euphoria/dysphoria, sedation, pruritus, tolerance, physical and psychological dependence when compared to other opioids. Methods of abuse of meperidine tablets include crushing, chewing, snorting or injecting the dissolved product.
Addiction of this drug occurs when it is taken for treatment of chronic pain for several weeks or months consecutively. Meperidine addiction interferes with your brain's activity, motivation and memory function. These dysfunctions change the way a person thinks, behaves and feels. Like other diseases, meperidine addiction causes specific signs and symptoms. With continuous use, especially at high doses, the person may become addicted to it and develops an inability to abstain from meperidine consistently. There is a primary driving force to continue using meperidine in order to prevent the very unpleasant physical and neurochemical withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing this drug. Symptoms usually associated with withdrawal may include muscle aches, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, elevated blood pressure, nausea, joint pain, restlessness, sleeplessness and excessive sweating.
The addiction treatment of this highly potent narcotic consists of two parts- detoxification and rehabilitation.
Detoxification is the process of lowering the levels of opioids in the body. This is done under complete medical supervision. The person undergoing detoxification may experience severe withdrawal symptoms for 4-5 days.
Rehabilitation focuses on restoring the neurological functions disrupted by opioid addiction. Rehab includes behavioral modification and counseling sessions that help to overcome addiction and live without the drug. Counseling addresses individual's multiple needs and helps patients to modify or change behaviors.
Meperidine overdose can have serious side effects, including death. In case of overdose, one should immediately seek emergency medical attention. Overdose of Meperidine may cause symptoms such as extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, pin-point pupils, fainting or coma.
- It is important to note that it is a habit forming drug and should only be used according to prescription. It should only be used by the person to whom it has been prescribed and should be kept away from children in a secure place.
- Also it is important to note that one should not consume alcohol along with Meperidine medication. Combining alcohol along with Meperidine could have dangerous side effects, including death. So make sure you consume alcohol free products while under medication.
- Meperidine being an opioid tends to impair thinking or slow down your reactions. So make sure you do not drive or do any activity that requires you to be alert, after consuming this medicine.
- Do not take Meperidine in large amounts, unless being advised by your doctor, or else it could have dangerous side effects.
- Don't stop consuming the drug suddenly as it may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Best idea could be to taper down the medicine. Take your doctor's advice on how to manage withdrawal symptoms of the medicine.