Figure 1


valued on the street and is widely abused, particularly in its injectable forms.

Medically, meperidine is a significant problem in patients with kidney conditions, where drug-removal from the body is impaired. Metabolized to normeperidine, a closely related compound, it is eliminated by the kidneys. In patients with kidney problems, this metabolite can accumulate to high levels, which can cloud mental processes and even produce convulsions. Since ELDERLY patients often have impaired kidney function, special care must be taken when using meperidine with them.

(SEE ALSO: Addiction: Concepts and Definitions; Opioid Complications and Withdrawal)


Reisine, T., & Pasternak, G. (1996). Opioid analgesics and antagonists. In J. G. Hardman et al. (Eds.), The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed. (pp. 521-555). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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