Demerol–known generically as meperidine–is a fast-acting narcotic pain reliever. It is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Doctors also use it as an anesthetic and as a pain reliever for women who are in labor. A Schedule II controlled substance, Demerol is a highly addictive opioid medication that works like morphine. Abusing Demerol has consequences. Even those who are prescribed the drug are at risk of developing a dependence because of its potency. People who abruptly stop taking Demerol after prolonged use can experience painful physical and mental symptoms known as Demerol withdrawal. Without medical treatment, Demerol withdrawal can result in flu-like side-effects.

There Are Risks in Quitting Demerol Cold Turkey

Long-term users who suddenly stop using Demerol, known as going “cold turkey,” risk going into withdrawal. It’s an uncomfortable process that can take a toll on the body, mind, and spirit. The symptoms affect each person differently. However, side effects include anxiety, agitation, restlessness and a host of flu-like symptoms, including chills, fever, and a runny nose.

The safest way to withdrawal from Demerol is get help from medical professionals at a detox or drug rehab facility. Medical supervision will keep users safe as they cope with the symptoms, which are uncomfortable but rarely life-threatening. Getting medical help with a Demerol detox also may reduce the possibility of relapse.

Demerol Abusers Risk Dependence, Addiction

Doctors once considered Demerol less addictive than morphine because it was linked to fewer risks and dangers than other opioid painkillers. However, Demerol is among the most widely abused prescription painkillers in the US. Those who abuse Demerol do so for its euphoric effects and to achieve a “high.” Abuse of the tablets includes chewing, crushing, snorting and injecting the drug while it is in a dissolved form. Those who abuse Demerol are at high risk of becoming addicted to the drug. Potentially fatal overdoses are also possible.

Need Help Finding Drug Treatment in Your Area? We Can Help

Drug Treatment Center Finder’s database is filled with drug rehabs in all 50 states. Our free referral service helps you find a drug treatment center in your area. If you have questions on withdrawal detox and treatment, call our 24-hour helpline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will walk you through the addiction treatment process.

Demerol Withdrawal Symptoms

Demerol Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Common Demerol Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Long-term abuse of Demerol changes the brain and body chemistry of users. The more the drugs are used, the more the body becomes accustomed to it. When use is stopped, withdrawal sets in as the body adjusts to functioning without Demerol in its system. If you or a loved one have recently stopped taking Demerol after regular or long-term use, then you may be in withdrawal now. People who have withdrawal side effects from Demerol may experience signs and symptoms that affect their physical and mental health.
How long withdrawal lasts will vary.

Factors that determine the length and intensity of symptoms include:

  • Age, health, and lifestyle
  • Demerol tolerance
  • How long Demerol has been used
  • Dose of Demerol taken
  • Whether other substances, such as alcohol, were used along with Demerol

Physical Symptoms:

  • Bone pain
  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Goose bumps
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain
  • Teary eyes
  • Vomiting

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Appetite loss
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Drug cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Psychosis

Withdrawal Is Uncomfortable: You Don’t Have to Do It By Yourself

Signs of withdrawal will not look the same for everyone. If you have questions, we can help you figure out what your next steps should be.

Drug Treatment Center Finder can help you or your loved one with understanding more about withdrawal and help you find a treatment center that fits your needs. Our services also can help you find a medically supervised detox that can start before Demerol withdrawal symptoms get worse. The sooner you call us, the sooner you can start feeling better and learning how to put your life back together. Call us now at (855) 619-8070.

If you are exhibiting serious withdrawal symptoms, such as a shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, homicidal thoughts, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts, call 911 immediately or visit an emergency room or urgent care center immediately for medical attention. These symptoms are red flags that your situation is urgent, and you must seek help now.


Demerol Withdrawal Timeline

Demerol Withdrawal Timeline

Symptoms can start within 24 hours after the last dose. Below is a general schedule. Not everyone will have the same signs or symptoms, so consult your physician with specific questions about withdrawal side effects from Demerol that you or your loved one are having.

  • Within first 24 hours

    Changes in mood are among the first signs to show up after Demerol use has been reduced or if the drug is stopped altogether.


  • Days 2 to 5

    Physical withdrawal symptoms begin. Users typically experience nausea, flu-like symptoms muscle aches, and other discomfort. The person in withdrawal may also develop mood or behavioral changes, including paranoia, anxiety or intense restlessness and uneasiness. Users can have strong cravings for Demerol during this period.


  • Days 6 to 14

    Physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms likely will continue but will gradually subside.


  • Days 15+

    The physical symptoms of withdrawal typically stop. However, Demerol drug cravings may linger. Affected users should look into a treatment program that can help them manage these cravings and other side effects.


Demerol Detox and Treatment

Treating Demerol Addiction

A medically supervised detox from Demerol is the safest way to manage withdrawal symptoms and remove the substance from the body. This process can last a few days and up to a week in more serious cases.
During the process, medical professionals at a licensed facility administer medications to the client to help ease withdrawal symptoms while monitoring vital signs and the person’s overall health.
A doctor may decide to use the taper method for clients going through the process. This means the physician will gradually cut back on the dosage of Demerol using intravenous (IV) therapy. The length of Demerol detox will depend on a variety of factors, such as medical history and duration and amount of use.
Diet and nutrition support can also be a part of the detox treatment. Clients can learn methods that promote restful sleep, hydration, pain relief, and relaxation.

Start Demerol Detox Now: Don’t Wait for Your Withdrawal Symptoms to Worsen

Users who have withdrawal symptoms can visit a medical center to start their detox before the symptoms of withdrawal start or worsen. The length of withdrawal from Demerol symptoms as well as the severity of a person’s specific situation will vary according to the user.

Common Demerol Detox Medications

Withdrawing from Demerol at medical facility can make the detox process easier to withstand. Medical professionals will be able to monitor a client’s health in safe environment. Doctors can prescribe clients medication to ease the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Common treatments used during detoxification treatments for Demerol addiction include:

  • Buprenorphine: This opioid medication, also known as Subutex, is given at a medical facility or doctor’s office. It also can be used at home under a doctor’s prescription. Buprenorphine affects the same receptors as heroin and morphine do, but it does not give the same intense high or harmful side effects, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • Clonidine: Clonidine is a blood pressure medication prescribed to treat physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as muscle aches, cramping and sweating, and psychological ones, including anxiety and agitation or restlessness.
  • Methadone: Methadone is used in opiate detox to help reduce Demerol cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. The drug affects the parts of the brain and spinal cord to block the euphoric “high” users get with opioids. Methadone eases opiate withdrawal for 24 hours to 36 hours, which reduces the chances of relapse. As with other medications, methadone should be used under medical supervision, as it is habit-forming and potentially addictive.
  • Naltrexone: This medication blocks opioids from acting on the brain’s receptors, which strips away the reward of getting high on Demerol. It comes in pill form or as an extended-release injection. As with all drugs, naltrexone should be used with care. The initial dosage as well as any adjustments to it will be prescribed by the doctor.
  • Suboxone: Suboxone is an opioid medication that is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The prescription medication blocks the effects of opioid drugs while also acting as a depressant to limit cravings. However, Suboxone is habit-forming, even in regular doses, and can lead to addiction, overdose, and death, if used improperly.

What Happens After Demerol Detox?

Stopping Demerol Addiction Is Only the Beginning

Demerol detoxification is an important process, but it’s only one part of the process. After recovering users go through the medically supervised detox to end the physical part of active addiction, the next step is to put together a plan of action that helps clients address underlying issues that weren’t identified or faced when the person was in active addiction. This plan also teaches clients how to change thought and behavioral patterns that can keep them free of Demerol addiction.

After the body starts the process of returning to its normal state now that the drug is out of its system, the mental, emotional, and psychological parts will have to be addressed.

For some, this is part of the recovery process. This includes possibly changing the environment and identifying triggers and other factors that could lead back to abusing Demerol. This process can take several months, and for some people, it may take several years. Sobriety is the goal, but achieving clarity takes some time, so be mindful to take recovery step by step.

A post-detox recovery program can offer clients guidance and a treatment care plan. These plans include teaching clients coping skills and strategies to manage the issues that influenced them to use drugs. They also can involve connecting people to therapy or alumni groups, in which they will find people in recovery who share similar experiences.

If you, or someone you know, are seeking a new life without addiction to Demerol, there’s no time like the present to call Drug Treatment Center Finder at (855) 619-8070, our 24-hour helpline. Our database lists treatment centers in all 50 states, so we definitely can help you find a center in your area or the location of your choice.

Demerol Withdrawal FAQs

Demerol Withdrawal Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Demerol?

    Demerol is the brand name of an opioid medication for moderate-to-severe pain also known as meperidine. Demerol can come in an injection, tablet, or syrup form. Injections are usually administered by physicians.


  • How long does Demerol stay in your system?

    Demerol has a half-life of 2.5 to 4 hours in an adult person, which means it takes this long for half of the dosage to leave the body.


  • Is Demerol addictive?

    Yes, Demerol is addictive. Initially thought to be less dangerous than morphine, Demerol is highly addictive. Demerol is among the most widely abused prescription painkillers in the US. Those who use Demerol to get high will crush, snort, or dissolve the substance when it is pill form. If you suspect that you or a loved one are addicted to Demerol, get help today. Call Drug Treatment Center Finder at (855) 619-8070, our 24-hour helpline now so we can find you a treatment center in your area that can help you look at your options for medically safe withdrawal detox from Demerol.


  • What are some Demerol addiction withdrawal symptoms?

    The side effects include a number of physical symptoms, including bone and muscle pain, chills and cold sweats, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, stomach pain, vomiting and more. Behavioral symptoms linked to withdrawal include agitation and restlessness. Psychological symptoms include anxiety, delusions, depression, and Demerol cravings, among other symptoms.


  • How long can I expect symptoms to last?

    The duration of symptoms, and their intensity can vary. A few factors include:

    • Age, health, and lifestyle
    • Demerol tolerance
    • How long Demerol has been used
    • Dose of Demerol taken
    • Method of Demerol used

  • Should I quit Demerol cold turkey?

    Some people do suddenly stop using Demerol after a long period, which is known as “going cold turkey.” Medical professionals highly discourage an addicted person from abruptly stopping the drug and encourage users to seek treatment at a detox or drug rehab facility. Medical supervision can keep a client safe while ensuring their needs are met as they cope with the symptoms, which can be uncomfortable. Getting medical help with a Demerol detox also reduces the possibility of relapse.


  • Is it safe to taper off Demerol?

    Tapering is a method used in medically supervised detox that gradually reduces the dosage of Demerol to gradually and safely wean the client off Demerol as they go through withdrawal. The physician usually determines the tapering schedule, but tapering too quickly comes with risks, one of them being withdrawal.


  • What are the risks of self-detox remedies for Demerol withdrawal?

    Withdrawal from Demerol can be painful and unpleasant, so some people set out to relieve their symptoms with alternative do-it-yourself methods that are usually carried out at home or outside of a medical center. Drug Treatment Center Finder, however, advises longtime Demerol users in withdrawal to seek out medical treatment administered by licensed medical professionals as an alternative option to these methods.
    A medical center or facility provides a safe environment for users to detox comfortably. There, medical professionals can monitor a client’s progress around the clock and ensure they get the care they need.