This drug is prescribed to provide relief from sudden episodes of moderate to severe pain.

IUPAC name: ethyl 1-methyl-4-phenylpiperidine-4-carboxylate

Drug class: Opioid analgesics

Route of administration: oral, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intrathecal, epidural

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This medication lowers pain perception by attaching to opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and preventing neurons from transmitting pain signals from the body to the brain.

Side effects

It may cause nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, constipation, increased sweating, abdominal pain, and mood changes.


This medicine should not be used to treat chronic or long-term pain since extended use of meperidine may raise the risk of toxicity (such as seizures or tremors).

If you take this medicine improperly and without a prescription, you face the risk of becoming addicted (habit-forming), overdosing, or even dying.

If you take meperidine with alcohol, it increases your chances of developing dizziness, drowsiness, or both. It can also slow your breathing. Fatal side effects can occur.


Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to it or to other opioids (including codeine, fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone), or if you have other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products), especially pain reliever,
  • If you have a history of breathing or lung problems (including sleep apnea, severe asthma, COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), brain problems (tumors, seizures), kidney issues, liver disease, gallbladder disease, depression, anxiety, intestinal blockage due to paralytic ileus, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty urinating, drug abuse, arrhythmia, sickle cell anemia,
  • If you have undergone any type of surgery,
  • This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults and children.
  • Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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