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Why is this medication prescribed?
Meperidine is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Meperidine is in a class of medications called narcotic analgesics, a group of pain medications similar to morphine. It works by changing the way the body senses pain.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking meperidine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to meperidine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in meperidine tablets or syrup. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: acyclovir (Zovirax); antidepressants; butorphanol; cimetidine (Tagamet); chlorpromazine; fluphenazine; medications for anxiety, vomiting, and seizures; mesoridazine (Serentil); perphenazine (Trilafon); phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); prochlorperazine (Compazine, Procomp); ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); thioridazine; and trifluoperazine (Stelazine). Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following medications or have stopped taking them within the past 2 weeks: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you use or have ever used street drugs, if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, and if you recently had surgery. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had Addison's disease (a condition in which the body does not produce certain important chemicals); a head injury or a problem with pressure in your head or brain; mental illness; asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other conditions that affect your breathing; sickle cell anemia (a blood disease); pheochromocytoma (a type of tumor); an abnormally curved spine, especially if it causes breathing problems; enlarged prostate; urethral stricture (narrowing of the opening through which urine leaves the body); irregular heartbeat; seizures; stomach problems; or thyroid, liver, kidney, or lung disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking meperidine, call your doctor.
- you should know that this medication may decrease fertility in men and women. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking meperidine.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking meperidine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take meperidine because it is not as safe or as effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking meperidine.
- you should know that meperidine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that meperidine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking meperidine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. It is against the law to give this medication to anyone else. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.