What is Demerol?Demerol is a narcotic pain medication used for the relief of mild to moderate pain.
What is the most important information I should know about Demerol?Do not take Demerol if you are currently taking medications known as MAO inhibitors (a class of drugs used to treat depression, psychiatric or emotional disorders, or Parkinson's disease) or have used them in the previous 14 days. When taken with Demerol, they can cause unpredictable, severe, and occasionally fatal reactions.
You can build a tolerance to and dependence on Demerol if you take it repeatedly. It should only be used for the purpose it was prescribed and for the shortest amount of time necessary. If you have ever had a problem with substance abuse or dependence, consult your doctor before taking this medication.
Who should not take Demerol?If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Demerol or other narcotic painkillers, you should not use this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any reactions you have experienced.
You should not take Demerol if you are taking MAOIs (such as phenelzine or trancylpromine) or if you have taken MAO inhibitors within 14 days.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Demerol?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with this drug. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever had any of the following: a severe liver or kidney disorder, head injury, sickle cell anemia, thyroid problem, adrenal gland dysfunction or tumor, an enlarged prostate, a urethral stricture (narrowing of the tube leading from the bladder), a severe abdominal condition, an irregular heartbeat, a history of convulsions, or a history of drug abuse or alcoholism (including alcohol withdrawal marked by delirium tremens). Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
It's also important to let your doctor know if you have severe asthma attacks, frequently recurring lung disease, if you are unable to inhale or exhale extra air when needed, or if you have any pre-existing breathing difficulties.
Before having surgery, make sure the doctor knows you are taking Demerol. Combining Demerol with a general anesthetic could cause serious side effects.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dosage of Demerol is 50-150 milligrams (mg) every 3 or 4 hours, as necessary, based upon your response and the severity of your pain. For older adults, the doctor may reduce the dosage.
Children: The usual dosage is 1.1-1.8 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight, up to the adult dose, taken every 3 or 4 hours, as necessary.
How should I take Demerol?Take Demerol exactly as prescribed. Do not increase the amount or length of time you take Demerol without your doctor's approval. Likewise, do not abruptly stop taking Demerol, since this could increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms. If you are using Demerol in syrup form, take each dose in a half glass of water.
If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, it may help if you lie down after taking the medication.
What should I avoid while taking Demerol?Demerol may affect you both mentally and physically. You should not drive a car, operate machinery, or perform any other potentially hazardous activities until you know how this medication affects you.
Do not abruptly stop using Demerol, especially if you have been taking it regularly for a long period of time. Your doctor will have you gradually lower the dose to reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms, including restlessness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, rapid heartbeat or breathing, increased blood pressure, or flulike symptoms.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Demerol?It's very important not to combine Demerol with any sleep medications or tranquilizers, since this combination could cause serious injury or death. Demerol slows brain activity and intensifies the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.
If Demerol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Demerol with the following: acyclovir, alcohol, anesthetics, antidepressants, buprenorphine, butorphanol, cimetidine, MAOIs, muscle relaxants, nalbuphine, other narcotic painkillers, pentazocine, phenytoin, ritonavir, sedatives, sleep aids, or tranquilizers.
What are the possible side effects of Demerol?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, sedation, sweating, vomiting
Can I receive Demerol if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Do not take Demerol if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant unless you are directed to do so by your doctor. Demerol appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Demerol?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at once.
How should I store Demerol?Store at room temperature and protect from heat.
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