"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Demerol Consumer (continued)
To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative (e.g., stimulant-type with stool softener).
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: slow/irregular/fast heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, hallucinations, nervousness), numbness, shakiness (tremors), severe stomach/abdominal pain, trouble urinating, change in the amount of urine.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: slow/shallow breathing, fainting, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Demerol (meperidine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking meperidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: abdominal problems (e.g., gallbladder disease, pancreatitis), adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison's disease, pheochromocytoma), large blood loss (e.g., recent blood donation, stomach/intestinal bleeding), brain disorders (e.g., seizures, head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure), heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure), kidney disease, liver disease, breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, emphysema), mental/mood disorders (e.g., depression, toxic psychosis), personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, sickle cell anemia, stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus), a certain spinal problem (kyphoscoliosis), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), trouble urinating (e.g., due to enlarged prostate or narrowing of the urethra).
Meperidine is usually only used for a short time. Repeated or high doses may cause drug levels to build up in the body and cause serious side effects such as seizures and shaking. Caution is advised if this medication is used for conditions which require long-term or high-dosage treatment (e.g., sickle cell anemia, burns, cancer). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
To lower your risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and slow/shallow breathing.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially drowsiness.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as slow/shallow breathing, irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, vomiting, or diarrhea.
This drug passes into breast milk and is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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