"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.
Information for Patients/Caregivers
- Patients should be aware that DEMEROL tablets contain meperidine, which is a morphine-like substance.
- Patients should be advised to report pain and adverse experiences occurring during therapy. Individualization of dosage is essential to make optimal use of this medication.
- Patients should be advised not to adjust the dose of DEMEROL without consulting the prescribing professional.
- Patients should be advised that DEMEROL may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery).
- Patients should not combine DEMEROL with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants (sleep aids, tranquilizers) except by the orders of the prescribing physician, because dangerous additive effects may occur, resulting in serious injury or death.
- Women of childbearing potential who become, or are planning to become pregnant should be advised to consult their physician regarding the effects of analgesics and other drug use during pregnancy on themselves and their unborn child.
- Patients should be advised that DEMEROL is a potential drug of abuse. They should protect it from theft, and it should never be given to anyone other than the individual for whom it was prescribed.
- Patients should be advised that if they have been receiving treatment with DEMEROL for more than a few weeks and cessation of therapy is indicated, it may be appropriate to taper the DEMEROL dose, rather than abruptly discontinue it, due to the risk of precipitating withdrawal symptoms. Their physician can provide a dose schedule to accomplish a gradual discontinuation of the medication.
- Patients should be instructed to keep DEMEROL in a secure place out of the reach of children. When DEMEROL is no longer needed, the unused tablets should be destroyed by flushing down the toilet.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/9/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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