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DEMEROL Boxed Warning (Meperidine Hydrochloride Injection, USP)

WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 INTERACTION; RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS; and MONOAMINE OXIDASE (MOA) INHIBITORS INTERACTIONS

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

DEMEROL Injection exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient's risk prior to prescribing DEMEROL Injection, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of DEMEROL Injection. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of DEMEROL Injection or following a dose increase [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of DEMEROL Injection during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Cytochrome P450 3A4 Interaction

The concomitant use of DEMEROL Injection with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in meperidine plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse reactions and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in meperidine plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving DEMEROL Injection and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Drug Interactions (7)].

Risks From Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Drug Interactions (7)].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of DEMEROL Injection and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosage and duration to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Concomitant Use of DEMEROL Injection with Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitors

Concomitant use of DEMEROL Injection with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors can result in coma, severe respiratory depression, cyanosis, and hypotension. Use of DEMEROL Injection with MAO inhibitors within last 14 days is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.6), Drug Interactions (7)].

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