How can I minimize the side effects of Demerol?

You can minimize the side effects of Demerol (meperidine) by taking it exactly as your doctor prescribes. Do not chew or crush the tablets; swallow them whole. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than recommended. Also, talk to your doctor about using the smallest effective dose to reduce side effects. You should not drink alcohol or take sleep aids or tranquilizers which, like Demerol, depress the central nervous system, while you're taking Demerol as they can increase serious side effects.

To avoid the dizziness and lightheadedness that is common when you first start taking Demerol, take your time when getting up from a seated or lying position. First rest your feet on the floor for a few minutes, and then stand up. To help prevent or treat constipation, another common side effect, talk to your doctor about taking stool softeners and/or laxatives. Drink plenty of fluids and try to eat foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, bran, fruits and vegetables.

Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal products that you take. Do not take any new medicine or supplements without talking to your doctor first. Certain medical conditions may increase the risk for side effects, so give your doctor a complete medical history before taking Demerol. Pay attention to how you feel, and let your doctor know about any symptoms that bother you or don't go away. Your doctor may adjust the dose of your medication to help relieve side effects.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.