Demerol is a narcotic drug used to treat extreme pain in surgery or pregnancy. Demerol is a synthetic narcotic, closely related to the opiod morphine (and in that nature, closely related to the street drug heroin).
Demerol is not commonly abused, because it is hard to get outside of a hospital. The effects of demerol are felt within 15 minutes and remain for 2-4 hours.
It is thought that Demerol may have played a role in the recent death of pop star Michael Jackson. Whether or not Michael Jackson overdosed on the drug is unknown at this time, but it is on record that he had been taking it (possibly for medical reasons).
Side effects of Demerol include: lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, sweating, respiratory depression, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock, and cardiac arrest, euphoria, dysphoria, weakness, headache, agitation, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, severe convulsions, transient hallucinations and disorientation, visual disturbances, dry mouth, constipation, biliary tract spasm, flushing of the face, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitation, hypotension, urinary retention. An allergic reaction includes such side effects as: pruritus, urticaria, other skin rashes, wheal and flare over the vein with intravenous injection.
The symptoms of a Demerol overdose include: bluish discoloration of the skin, cold and clammy skin, coma or extreme sleepiness, limp, weak muscles, low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, troubled or slowed breathing.
Read about Michael Jackson's death here: http://www.insidershealth.com/article/michael_jackson_died__his_legacy_lives_on/3631
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