The hydrochloride salt of a synthetic piperidine ester with opioid analgesic activity.
Meperidine mimics the actions of endogenous neuropeptides via opioid receptors such as the mu-opiod receptor, thereby producing characteristic morphine-like effects including analgesia, euphoria, sedation, respiratory depression, miosis, bradycardia and physical dependence.
Parenteral meperidine 75-100 mg has the same analgesic effect as approximately 10 mg parenteral morphine. Oral MP is a very low-potency opioid: 300 mg = 30 mg oral morphine.
The duration of its action is shorter than morphine, only 2.5-3.5 hours
Disadvantages: Continued administration over several days may cause a syndrome of CNS excitation with tremors, myoclonus, delirium, and seizures, due to accumulation of the metabolite normeperidine. This is more prevalent in the elderly or in patients with renal dysfunction. Also due to the short duration of action, meperidine is not appropriate for treating chronic cancer pain.