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Meperidine hydrochloride overdose

Definition

Meperidine hydrochloride is a painkiller. Meperidine hydrochloride overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Alternative Names

Demerol overdose; Mepergan Forte overdose

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Meperidine

Where Found

  • Demerol
  • Mepergan Forte

Symptoms

  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Heart and blood
  • Lungs
  • Nervous system
  • Skin

Home Treatment

Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • If the prescription was prescribed for the patient

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing tube
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Laxative
  • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effects of the poison
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Expectations (prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

If an antidote can be given, recovery begins immediately. Patients who took a large overdose may not be breathing (respiratory arrest) and may have seizures if they do not get this medicine quickly.

A severe overdose of meperidine can cause death.

References

Yip L, Megarbane B, Borron SW. Opioids. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. . 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 33.

Media

    Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.