- Drug Tests & Detection Times
- Half-Life Of Demerol
- Half-Life Of Normeperidine
- Treatment For Demerol Abuse
Meperidine can stay in your system for about 25 hours after the last use. Drug tests can detect meperidine and its metabolites for up to 90 days after the last use. Most testing methods have a detection window of about 4 days.
Meperidine was the first synthetic opioid agonist developed to treat chronic pain and severe pain. A form of meperidine, meperidine hydrochloride, is available as the prescription drug Demerol.
It has a short duration of action and low bioavailability, and the analgesia caused by meperidine may be brief.
One of meperidine’s main active metabolites, normeperidine, can cause toxicity in the central nervous system. Abusing meperidine can increase the risk of serious side effects, such as serotonin syndrome, while hindering your pain management plan.
Drug Tests & Detection Times For Meperidine Use
Drug testing can detect meperidine and normeperidine in a person’s system. A positive test for either the parent drug or its metabolite may indicate recent use, physical dependence, or overdose, depending on the situation.
Drug testing may be performed on patients undergoing opioid addiction treatment, employees who must submit proof of drug use to their employer, and by patients displaying incidences of adverse reactions after taking Demerol (such as withdrawal symptoms, serotonergic, or drug interactions).
Urine tests can detect Demerol for about 3 days after the last dose. Meperidine has a slightly shorter detection window than normeperidine, though both are mostly excreted through the urine.
Saliva tests can detect Demerol for about 48 hours after the last use. Saliva tests have shorter detection windows than urine tests on average, but can be easier to perform.
Blood tests can detect Demerol for about 12 hours after the last use. Blood tests are often less common than other forms of testing, since they can be difficult for the patient.
Hair tests, while less common than other drug testing methods, can detect meperidine and its metabolites for up to 90 days after last use.
Half-Life Of Demerol
In pharmacology, the half-life of a drug refers to the amount of time it takes for a drug to decrease to half its maximum concentration.
Half-life cycles can give reasonable estimations of elimination times of a drug. After five half-life cycles, most drugs are almost completely eliminated from the body.
The half-life of meperidine is around 2 to 5 hours.
It can be eliminated from the body in about 25 hours.
Meperidine has a shorter half-life and elimination time than many opioid analgesics, though its side effects, such as constipation, sedation, hypotension, and respiratory depression may last for longer.
Patients with hepatic (liver) impairment may experience longer half-life cycles. Through a process known as n-demethylation, the body metabolizes meperidine to normeperidine. Normeperidine is a potentially toxic chemical with a longer half-life than its parent drug.
Half-Life Of Normeperidine
The half-life of normeperidine, meperidine’s main active metabolite, can be up to 15 to 30 hours. Normeperidine can remain in the body for up to 150 hours, much longer than its parent drug.
Factors such as age and renal function can prolong normeperidines half-life. Geriatric patients and patients with renal impairment may experience a half-life of up to 40 hours, leading to even higher amounts of normeperidine in their system.
In large amounts, normeperidine can be toxic to the central nervous system (CNS). Patients who experience normeperidine toxicity may suffer adverse effects such as irritability, muscle twitches, tachycardia (increased heart rate), and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Treatment For Demerol Abuse
Demerol is a potent synthetic opioid with many contraindications, potentially fatal drug interactions, and a high potential for drug abuse.
Prescribing Demerol has become a less common practice over time, but the drug has not seen complete discontinuation despite its potential risks.
Demerol’s potential for physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult to quit while maintaining acute pain control.
Intensive treatment options, such as behavioral therapy and medications (methadone and buprenorphine) to retain analgesic effects can improve a patient’s outlook.
To learn about our outpatient treatment options for opioid addiction, please contact us today.
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.