Meperidine drugs such as Demerol have long been prescribed to treat chronic pain conditions. But just how safe and effective are these drugs as treating chronic pain? Do the benefits outweigh the risks and dangers?
Meperidine was first synthesized in 1939 in hopes of creating a superior Anticholinergic – a drug that blocks acetylcholine in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Soon after is development, scientists and pharmacologists discovered its ability to treat chronic pain and thus began the long process of marketing a potent new pain killer.
Demerol and other Meperidine drugs are most commonly used to treat cases of chronic and severe pain, such as cancer and dental surgeries. Due to its antispasmodic and anesthetic qualities, Meperidine drugs have been rarely used to treat cases of major muscle spasm and even psychosis.
Powerful pain killing narcotics such as Demerol offer a wide array of frightening and often dangerous side effects, including: seizure, slowed and shallow breathing, slow and weak heart beat, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, changes in urination, decrease in sweat production, itching of the face and skin, loss of sexual drive, inability to achieve orgasm, inability to function sexually (in men), dry mouth, a false sense of well-being, confusion, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, agitation, aggression, periods of “black out”, insomnia, inability to stay awake, and changes in appetite.
Dangerous drugs interactions with Meperidine include: MAOI Anti-depressants, muscle relaxants (such as Soma and Flexeril), Benzodiazapines (mood stabilizers such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan), and alcohol.
Like all opioid narcotic medications, Meperidine drugs such as Demerol can easily lead to physical and psychological addiction. Physicians believe that addiction can begin in as little as two weeks of use. Even patients following their prescriber’s dosing instructions are at a serious risk for developing addiction to these potent drugs.
Symptoms of Meperidine withdrawal include: seizure, tremors, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, tremors, flu-like aches and pains, high blood pressure, heavy sweating, “creepy crawly” sensations in limbs, insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability, emotional instability, nervousness, fever, depression, anxiety, fever, runny nose and eyes, constant yawning, and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
The strength of Meperidine drugs is phenomenal and the period of acute withdrawal is excruciating and painful for users, thus leading to crimes such as robbery, theft, and prescription fraud.
Addicts and dealers are known to “doctor shop,” which is visiting multiple physicians until one agrees to prescribe their desired drug, for prescriptions of Meperidine drugs.
Now that you have learned about all of the possible outcomes of Meperidine drugs such as Demerol, do you feel that the benefits that chronic pain patients receive outweigh the addiction and misery that these drugs have created? Perhaps that is not for you or I to decide, as Meperidine is only one of many prescription drugs fueling an enormous epidemic.