Meperidine Hydrochloride

Meperidine Hydrochloride

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Questions & Answers

Side Effects & Adverse Reactions

Meperidine hydrochloride tablets are an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to morphine.

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

Meperidine hydrochloride tablets have 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 ADDICTION).

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 mothers 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.

Legal Issues

There is currently no legal information available for this drug.

FDA Safety Alerts

There are currently no FDA safety alerts available for this drug.

Manufacturer Warnings

There is currently no manufacturer warning information available for this drug.

FDA Labeling Changes

There are currently no FDA labeling changes available for this drug.


Meperidine hyrochloride tablets are indicated for the relief of moderate to severe pain.


There is currently no drug history available for this drug.

Other Information

Meperidine hydrochloride is a white crystalline substance with a melting point of 186°C to 189°C. It is readily soluble in water and has a neutral reaction and a slightly bitter taste. The solution is not decomposed by a short period of boiling.

The meperidine hydrochloride tablets, for oral administration contain either 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg or 150 mg of the analgesic. In addition, each tablet contains hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, colloidal silicon dioxide, sodium starch glycolate, and stearic acid. The 75 mg tablet also contains FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake and the 150 mg tablet also contains D&C Red #27 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake

Chemically, meperidine hydrochloride is 4- Piperidinecarboxylic acid, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-, ethyl ester, hydrochloride and has the following structure:

meperidine chemical structure

Molecular Formula: C15H21 NO2 • HCl

Molecular Weight: 283.79

Meperidine Hydrochloride Manufacturers

  • Mikart, Inc.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Mikart, Inc.]
  • Baxter Healthcare Corporation
    Meperidine Hydrochloride (Meperidine Hydrochloride) Injection [Baxter Healthcare Corporation]
  • Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd.]
  • Physicians Total Care, Inc.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Injection [Physicians Total Care, Inc.]
  • West-ward Pharmaceutical Corp.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Injection [West-ward Pharmaceutical Corp.]
  • Physicians Total Care, Inc.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Physicians Total Care, Inc.]
  • Hospira, Inc.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Injection, Solution [Hospira, Inc.]
  • Epic Pharma, Llc
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Epic Pharma, Llc]
  • Roxane Laboratories, Inc
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet Meperidine Hydrochloride Solution [Roxane Laboratories, Inc]
  • Qualitest Pharmaceuticals
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Qualitest Pharmaceuticals]
  • Bryant Ranch Prepack
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Bryant Ranch Prepack]
  • Barr Laboratories Inc.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Barr Laboratories Inc.]
  • Barr Laboratories Inc.
    Meperidine Hydrochloride Tablet [Barr Laboratories Inc.]

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