Meperidine: a critical review.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Meperidine was initially synthesized as an anticholinergic agent but was soon discovered to have analgesic properties. Although meperidine's anticholinergic effects were demonstrated in vivo, the anticholinergic effects on the biliary and renal tracts have not been demonstrated in vivo. Studies have clearly demonstrated that meperidine is no more efficacious in treating biliary or renal tract spasm than comparative mu opioids. The initial studies demonstrating the analgesic efficacy of meperidine were mostly case reports and not double-blind, randomized, controlled trials in specific populations. Subsequent comparative studies failed to demonstrate any advantages of meperidine over comparable doses of other analgesics. Meperidine was portrayed in practice and teaching as having unique clinical advantages. The analgesic effects of meperidine are not pronounced, and, in addition, meperidine use is complicated by unique side effects including serotonergic crisis and normeperidine toxicity. Meperidine's poor efficacy, toxicity, and multiple drug interactions have resulted in a movement to replace meperidine with more efficacious and less toxic opioid analgesics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Latta, KS; Ginsberg, B; Barkin, RL

Published Date

  • January 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 53 - 68

PubMed ID

  • 11782820

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11782820

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1075-2765

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00045391-200201000-00010


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States