Birth Definitions

Demerol Definition


Demerol is a brand name for the synthetic opioid pain medication meperidine. It is classified as a narcotic analgesic, and is typically used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is also used during labor and delivery to help with pain relief. Demerol works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This reduces the amount of pain signals that are sent to the brain. 

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Demerol include drowsiness, dizziness, and constipation, slowed breathing, and low blood pressure. Demerol can also cause respiratory depression to both mother and infant, which can be fatal. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not take Demerol. This medication can cause fetal distress and neonatal withdrawal syndrome, and can pass into breast milk and may cause breathing problems in a nursing baby. 

Demerol should not be taken with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants. Taking Demerol with alcohol can increase your risk of respiratory depression and other serious side effects.

This image shows how often the term ‘Demerol’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

Other Related Terms

There are a number of other terms associated with Demerol, including:

  • Meperidine
  • Pethidine
  • Dipidolor

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