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Demerol Vs Morphine

Demerol Vs Morphine

Opiates and opioids are often used interchangeably to describe various kinds of natural and synthetic narcotics.

Opiates are derived naturally from opium, while opioids are synthetically made. However, both kinds affect the brain similarly. Since their discovery, narcotics like Demerol and morphine have been used to treat chronic pain and other conditions. In the medical field, monitoring the potency of these medications allows physicians to use them properly. Today, our Palm Springs, California drug rehab is comparing Demerol vs morphine.

What Is Demerol?

Demerol is the brand name for an opioid called meperidine that’s administered as an intramuscular (into a muscle) or intravenous (into a vein) injection. Patients may also take them at home orally or mixed with water. It may also be used before and during surgery or other similar procedures.

Like other opioids, Demerol is normally prescribed to patients suffering from severe or chronic pain. Demerol belongs to the class of drugs called opioid analgesics. It changes how your body feels and responds to pain by affecting certain neurotransmitters. Specifically, all opioids work similarly by binding to opioid receptors on brain cell surfaces.

With that being said, Demerol may produce a variety of side effects, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Dry mouth
  • Agitation
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Pain at the injection site

In addition to blocking pain signals to alleviate the person’s symptoms, these drugs may also activate the release of dopamine, a chemical messenger used by neurons to communicate. This particular chemical plays a role in how we feel pain and pleasure. It’s usually the catalyst to developing a drug addiction.

What Is Morphine?

Morphine is another opioid medication that’s used to treat severe or chronic pain. Like Demerol, it can also be taken orally or administered as an injection.

There’s also an extended-release form of morphine that’s only meant to be taken once a day. The effects of these formulations usually last 12 to 14 hours, making repeated doses unnecessary.

Like Demerol, morphine is also an opioid that blocks pain by attaching to certain brain and spinal cord receptors. However, when taken in large doses, it can also produce a euphoric high and sudden dopamine rush.

When taken as prescribed, side effects of morphine include:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Slow heart rate
  • Shallow or weak breathing
  • Chest pain

In addition to euphoria, dopamine also activates a sense of reward, encouraging other drug-taking behavior. That’s why it’s always important to take any prescription medications as prescribed. Opioid abuse has contributed to a nationwide drug crisis called the opioid epidemic, increasing the need for opioid addiction treatment.

Demerol Versus Morphine: Differences and Similarities

The difference between Demerol and morphine is that Demerol leads to restlessness instead of sedation. It can also cause dry mouth and blurred vision.

Other than that, morphine and Demerol are pretty similar. Both are opioids that act similarly on the brain to block pain signals from the body. Because they act similarly on the brain, their side effects are also identical, including sedation, dizziness, nausea, and even euphoria. However, this also means that they can both cause physical dependence.

Physical dependence is when the body has become accustomed to having a certain drug or alcohol in its system. It’s a common result of chronic drug or alcohol use. A person who’s physically dependent on drugs or alcohol may experience withdrawal symptoms when they cut down on their use or stop it completely.

If abused or misused, both morphine and Demerol can increase tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. It’s often difficult to recover from an opioid addiction without the help of a medically monitored detox or rehab program. If you’re currently struggling with opioid misuse, our Palm Springs drug rehab offers different services that can help.

Is Demerol Stronger Than Morphine?

Many people also compare Demerol vs morphine for their potency and effectiveness. Demerol is not stronger than morphine, but actually, Demerol is seven to 10 times less potent than morphine.

However, morphine is often a substitute for Demerol because meperidine produces a toxic byproduct called normeperidine in the body that can cause tremors, seizures, delirium, and even psychosis, especially in patients with kidney problems. That’s why it might be substituted with other opioids in patients who do not have normal renal function.

Additionally, while morphine is stronger than Demerol, Demerol is not suited for short-term or immediate pain treatment because of its short half-life. A drug’s half-life refers to how long it takes the body to metabolize half of the drug.

Because meperidine has a short half-life, its side effects don’t last as long as extended-release formulations of morphine. Not only is this ineffective for treating chronic pain, but it also increases the risk of repeated use in patients, further increasing their risk of developing a dependence.

Do They Still Make Demerol?

Yes, they do still make Demerol, but it’s not doctors’ first choice in treating pain. Because of meperidine’s adverse reactions, such as delirium, seizures, and normeperidine neurotoxicity, many medical professionals have recommended that it be removed from health systems immediately.

Also, Demerol doesn’t have advantages over other opioids. While it works similarly to morphine and other narcotics, its potential for toxicity in patients with kidney problems poses an additional risk. Its short half-life also makes it ineffective for treating chronic pain, which is what narcotics are predominantly used for.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Regardless of which kind of opioid is being used, all have the potential for abuse and addiction. Many patients who begin taking their prescription opioids as recommended eventually begin to misuse them because of the relief and euphoria these drugs can produce.

If you find yourself abusing your prescription drugs or notice this problem in a loved one, it’s time to get help. Our Palm Springs, CA drug rehab offers opioid and prescription drug addiction treatment to help patients who are addicted to any medication, including opioids, benzos, stimulants, and more.

If you’re interested in getting help for yourself or a loved one, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 to speak to a specialist about our California drug treatment programs.

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Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.