Meperidine (Demerol)

  • Drug Source: Meperidine is completely synthetic and can be produced with dichlorodiethyl methylamine and benzyl cyanide.
  • Trade Name: Demerol
  • Street Name: Demmies
  • Medical Uses: originally found to be useful for muscle spasms but the discovery of it's analgesic properties has resulted in it's almost exclusive use for relief of moderate to severe pain
  • Drug Combinations: usually found as a single product, with few combination products. Is found in combination with acetaminophen in Demerol APAP
  • Physical Appearance: Demerol tablets are small white tablets with the name Winthrop on one side
  • Controlled Substance Status: Schedule II substance in US


  • Medical: pain relief is achieved with approx. 50mg - 150mg injected or 200mg - 300mg oral
  • Nonmedical; doses similar to those used in medical settings are used in recreational use.

    Routes Of Administration: orally, three injection routes, and sniffing are possible, unknown if smoking is possible

    Many doctors consider Demerol to be only mildly effective if it is not injected. Therefore, they are unlikely to recommend it for prescriptions outside the hospital.

    Short Term Use

  • CNS, Behavioral, Subjective: same as morphine but less sedation, less intense euphoria
  • Respiratory:respiratory: depression tends to be less common and less intense than morphine
  • Gastrointestinal:nausea and vomiting are reportedly common with oral use, but less when administered via injection
  • Duration: 3 - 4 hours

    Dependency Potential reported to be less than or equal to that of morphine.

    - Meperidine on Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

    The synthetic chemicals demerol and methadone are sometimes used as substitutes for morphine. Demerol is only one tenth as powerful as morphine in relieving pain. The danger of addiction when using this drug is not nearly so great as in the case of morphine, but it exists nevertheless. Methadone is as patent a painkiller as morphine. Normal patients are not very likely to become addicts to this drug. True morphine addicts sometimes use methadone as a substitute.- page 400, The Narcotic- Drug Evil: A Disturbing Problem of Our Modern Civilization from The Book of Popular Science by Milton Lewis (1959)

  • Demerol Meperidine