Overview of Demerol Side Effects

Learn more about Demerol side effects, uses, benefits, and how to get the help you need for a demerol addiction here.


Demerol is a prescription drug commonly used to relieve moderate to severe pain. This overview will discuss the effects of Demerol on mental, physical, emotional, financial, and social wellness. It will also cover Demerol side effects, short-term and long-term side effects, and whether it is dangerous to use. Additionally, we will explore the considerations one should take before using Demerol, treatment options for addiction, and supporting statistics.

What is Demerol?

Demerol is a type of medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a synthetic opioid, which means it is made in a laboratory. Its generic name is meperidine. It was first created by a chemist in Germany in 1939 and was approved for use in the United States in 1942.

Demerol works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain, which can help to relieve pain and create a feeling of relaxation and happiness. It is an important medication for people with certain types of pain, like after surgery or cancer. 

It can also be misused and abused for recreational purposes. It can cause serious problems, so only use Demerol under the direction of a healthcare professional and not share it with others.1

Impact on Wellness

Demerol can affect a person’s mental, physical, emotional, financial, and social well-being, as well as their overall health. 

Demerol can help relieve pain but can also negatively impact your health in the short and long term.

Mental Wellness

Demerol can cause drowsiness, confusion, and impaired thinking. This increases the risk of accidents and injuries. 

It can also produce a sense of euphoria, which can be pleasurable and lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Physical Wellness

Demerol can cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and respiratory depression. 

Over time, Demerol use can also lead to tolerance, meaning higher doses are required to achieve the same level of pain relief. This can lead to dependence and addiction.

Emotional Wellness

Demerol can cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. It can also interfere with maintaining healthy relationships and social connections.

Financial Wellness

Demerol use can be expensive, especially over an extended period. It can also lead to decreased work productivity and missed opportunities due to impairment or addiction.

Social Wellness

Demerol abuse can harm your social life by making you feel alone, causing you to miss out on social events. It can harm your relationships with loved ones.

Demerol Side Effects

Demerol, like all medications, has potential side effects that can impact an individual’s well-being. 

The severity of Demerol side effects can vary depending on the dosage, duration of use, and an individual’s health status.

Mild Demerol Side Effects

Some common mild side effects of Demerol use include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating

Moderate Demerol Side Effects

Moderate Demerol side effects include:
  • Mental confusion
  • Sedation
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Skin rash or itching

Severe Demerol Side Effects

Severe Demerol side effects include:
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Hallucinations or delirium
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest

Long-Term Demerol Side Effects

Long-term side effects include:
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
  • Withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, agitation, and flu-like symptoms
  • Hormonal imbalances and sexual dysfunction
  • Cognitive impairment and memory loss
  • Liver or kidney damage with prolonged use
  • Increased risk of falls and fractures in older adults

It is important to understand Demerol’s potential side effects. Any unusual or severe symptoms should be reported to a healthcare professional immediately. 

Demerol should also only be used as prescribed by a doctor. It should not be taken with other drugs or substances that can increase the risk of side effects.2

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors to consider when starting Demerol use. These will be detailed below.

Dosage and Duration

Demerol should be taken as prescribed and not in higher doses or more frequently than directed. Prolonged use or high doses can lead to addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and other adverse effects.

Substance Interactions

Demerol can interact with other substances, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids. This can lead to respiratory depression and other adverse effects. 

Before taking Demerol, patients should inform their healthcare provider of all medications or supplements.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Demerol should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as it can harm the fetus or infant. Women should discuss alternative pain management options with their healthcare provider.

Storage and Disposal

Demerol should be stored in a safe and secure place, out of reach of children and pets. 

Unused or expired Demerol should be properly disposed of through medication take-back programs or other safe disposal methods.3

Addiction and Treatment

Demerol has a high potential for addiction and abuse, particularly with prolonged use or high doses. 

Demerol addiction can have serious consequences, including physical, psychological, and social problems. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options available for Demerol addiction.

Signs of Demerol Addiction

Some common signs of Demerol addiction include:
  • Using Demerol in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed
  • Difficulty controlling or stopping use
  • Spending significant time and resources obtaining or using Demerol
  • Neglecting responsibilities or relationships due to Demerol use
  • Withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop Demerol use
  • Continued use despite negative consequences

Treatment Options

Several treatment options are available for Demerol addiction, including:4
  • Detoxification: This involves medically supervised withdrawal and managing withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification can be done in an outpatient or inpatient setting, including medication-assisted treatment.
  • Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivational interviewing can help people address the underlying causes of addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Support groups: Support groups can provide individuals with a supportive and understanding community while in recovery.
  • Medications: Certain medicines can be prescribed to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings during recovery, such as buprenorphine and methadone.


Preventing Demerol addiction involves several steps, including:
  • Using Demerol only as prescribed
  • Avoiding taking Demerol for longer than necessary or in higher doses
  • Informing healthcare providers of any personal or family history of addiction or substance abuse
  • Avoiding taking Demerol with other substances, including alcohol and other medications
  • Disposing of unused or expired Demerol safely
Overview of Demerol Side Effects

Demerol Addiction Treatment at Essence Healthcare

If you or someone you know is struggling with Demerol side effects or addiction, seeking treatment is essential. Essence Healthcare is here to help you overcome your addiction and return to normal life.

What We Offer

At Essence Healthcare, we understand that every person’s recovery journey looks different. Our team of experts offers special care, like medication help, talking therapy, and support to handle physical, emotional, and mental needs. 

We will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Contact Essence Healthcare Today

We understand the challenges of addiction and the journey to recovery, and we are committed to providing you with the support and resources you need. 

Demerol side effects and addiction can be difficult to manage alone. Don’t let addiction take over your life. 

Reach out to Essence Healthcare today to find out more about our addiction treatment programs and start your journey to a healthier and happier life.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.