Drug Information for MEPERIDINE HYDROCHLORIDE Tablets USPMEPERIDINE HYDROCHLORIDE Oral Solution USP (Boehringer Ingelheim): WARNINGS

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  • Meperidine is an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to morphine.

    Meperidine can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing meperidine in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion.

  • Misuse, Abuse, and Diversion of Opioids

  • Meperidine is an opioid agonist of the morphine-type. Such drugs are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion.

    Meperidine can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing meperidine in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion.

    Meperidine has been reported as being abused by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product. These practices will result in the uncontrolled delivery of the opioid and pose a significant risk to the abuser that could result in overdose or death (see WARNINGS and DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE).

    Concerns about abuse, addiction, and diversion should not prevent the proper management of pain.

    Healthcare professionals should contact their State Professional Licensing Board or State Controlled Substances Authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.

  • Interactions with Alcohol and Drugs of Abuse

  • Meperidine may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression.

  • Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure

  • The respiratory depressant effects of meperidine and its capacity to elevate cerebrospinal fluid pressure may be markedly exaggerated in the presence of head injury, other intracranial lesions, or a preexisting increase in intracranial pressure. Furthermore, narcotics produce adverse reactions which may obscure the clinical course of patients with head injuries. In such patients, meperidine must be used with extreme caution and only if its use is deemed essential.

  • Asthma and Other Respiratory Conditions

  • Meperidine should be used with extreme caution in patients having an acute asthmatic attack, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, patients having a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, and patients with preexisting respiratory depression, hypoxia, or hypercapnia. In such patients, even usual therapeutic doses of narcotics may decrease respiratory drive while simultaneously increasing airway resistance to the point of apnea.

  • Hypotensive Effect

  • The administration of meperidine may result in severe hypotension in the postoperative patient or any individual whose ability to maintain blood pressure has been compromised by a depleted blood volume or the administration of drugs such as the phenothiazines or certain anesthetics.

  • Usage in Ambulatory Patients

  • Meperidine may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. The patient should be cautioned accordingly.

    Meperidine, like other narcotics, may produce orthostatic hypotension in ambulatory patients.

  • Usage in Pregnancy

  • Meperidine should not be used in pregnant women prior to the labor period, unless in the judgment of the physician the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks, because safe use in pregnancy prior to labor has not been established relative to possible adverse effects on fetal development.

  • Labor and Delivery

  • Meperidine crosses the placental barrier and can produce depression of respiration and psychophysiologic functions in the newborn. Resuscitation may be required (see OVERDOSAGE).

  • Nursing Mothers

  • Meperidine appears in the milk of nursing mother receiving the drug. Due to the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the potential benefits of the drug to the nursing woman.

  • Drug Information Provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).
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