Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some of the common questions people ask about Pethidine. It does not contain all the information that is known about Pethidine.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Pethidine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
What PETHIDINE is for
Pethidine is a powerful drug used to relieve pain and produce sleepiness.
It can be used simply to relieve pain or it can be used before painful operations to reduce the pain that you feel. It can also be used during childbirth to ease the pain of contractions.
Pethidine belongs to a group of medicines called opioid (narcotic) analgesics.
Pethidine works by changing the pain messages that are sent to the brain.
Your doctor will have explained why you are being treated with Pethidine and told you what dose you will be given.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for another use. Ask your doctor if you want more information.
Pethidine can be addictive, but when it is used only to relieve or prevent pain it is unlikely to become habit forming.
Before you are given PETHIDINE
When you must not use it
You should not be given Pethidine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless your doctor says it is safe. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits involved.
We do not know if it is safe for you to be given Pethidine while you are pregnant.
It may affect your baby if it is given early in pregnancy or in the last weeks before your baby is due. However, it can be used during childbirth.
Your baby can take in Pethidine from breast milk if you are breastfeeding.
Before you are given it
You must tell your doctor if:
1. you have been given Pethidine before and had any problems with it
2. you have any allergies to
any ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
other strong analgesics (pain killers) e.g. morphine
any other substances
If you have an allergic reaction, you may get a skin rash, hay fever or an asthma attack.
3. you have any of these medical conditions
problems with your breathing such as severe asthma, severe bronchitis or emphysema.
a history of fits or head injuries.
glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye).
heart or liver problems
It may not be safe for you to be given Pethidine if you have any of these conditions.
Taking other medicines
You must tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription at the chemist, supermarket or health food shop.
These medicines may affect the way Pethidine works.
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you what to do if you are taking any other medicines.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell them before you are given any Pethidine.
How PETHIDINE is given
Pethidine will be given to you by injection by your doctor or specially trained nurse.
The injection may be given into a vein, into a muscle or sometimes under the skin.
You should be lying down when the injection is given.
The doctor or nurse giving you Pethidine will be experienced in its use, so it is extremely unlikely that you will be given too much.
However, the first sign of overdosage is usually a marked slowing of your breathing. In some cases fits can occur.
Pethidine doses should be carefully worked out, so problems with overdosage are unlikely. There is another drug, called naloxone, which can be used to reverse the effects of too much Pethidine if needed.
While you are using it
Things you must not do
Do not drive or operate machinery while you are being given Pethidine.
When you are being given Pethidine, your ability to coordinate and make decisions will be affected.
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Pethidine.
Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these possibilities if you think they may bother you.
Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well after you have been given Pethidine.
Pethidine helps most people suffering severe pain, but it may have unwanted side-effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
After you have been given Pethidine you will probably feel light-headed, dizzy, sleepy and you may feel quite strange, especially if you are not lying down.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you.
Pethidine often causes
nausea (feeling sick)
Pethidine sometimes causes
increased heart rate
slowing down of breathing
Some people may get other side effects after being given Pethidine.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
If you are storing Pethidine injections at home, they should be kept in the original pack in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25 degrees C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where young children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Do not leave it in the car on hot days.
Make sure that you return to your doctor or pharmacist any injections that have passed the use by (expiry) date marked on the pack, or if you have any left over when your doctor says you no longer need to be given Pethidine injections.
Each Pethidine injection contains pethidine hydrochloride 50mg/mL as the active ingredient in Water for Injection BP.
In the USA pethidine is known as meperidine.
®is available in a 2mL plastic ampoule in packs of 10 and 50.
AstraZeneca Pty Ltd
ABN 54 009 682 311
NORTH RYDE NSW 2113
Tel: 1800 805 342
This leaflet was prepared in February 2008.
Australian Registration Number:
100mg/2mL AUST R 48345