Demerol Withdrawal

Demerol is a popular prescription painkiller that’s been around for many years used primarily to treat moderate to severe pain. When used as prescribed, it is designed to help minimize pain without any complications. But even using Demerol as prescribed can lead to a higher tolerance, meaning you’ll need more of the drug in order to get the same pain-relieving effect. This increase in tolerance can lead to addiction as well.

For those who misuse or abuse Demerol, the risk of becoming addicted to it increases greatly. Continued use of Demerol, especially in higher doses, is dangerous.

It can harm internal organs and there is also a risk of overdose. However, quitting cold turkey by yourself is not advised due to the uncomfortable Demerol withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, seeking help from addiction specialists is recommended.

What Are Demerol Withdrawal Symptoms?

If you or a loved one has become addicted to Demerol, chances are you’ll experience some withdrawal symptoms when trying to come off of it. Early on, you may feel like you’re coming down with the flu, and additional symptoms can arise later.

This period of coming off Demerol is known as the detox period. This is when the body tries to get used to functioning without pain medication, which can cause some daunting withdrawal symptoms. The good news is that the detox period doesn’t last forever, but you will have to endure it in order to get free from Demerol addiction.

Common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Yawning
  • Body aches
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach ache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Chills
  • Irritability

What Are the Stages of Demerol Withdrawal Timeline?

Not everyone goes through Demerol withdrawal at the same pace. For mild users, the detox period may last only a few days. For heavy users, it might take a week or so. The time frame and the severity of symptoms can differ from person to person depending on factors such as:

  • The dose of the drug
  • Frequency taken
  • Severity of addiction
  • Method of ingestion
  • Overall health condition
  • Age
  • Metabolism
  • Mental health
  • Support system
  • History of addiction/relapse
  • Dietary habits
  • Taper schedule

Generally, you may begin to feel some withdrawal symptoms that resemble the flu in as little as 24 hours after your last dose. However, for those that are heavily addicted, withdrawal may begin in as little as four to six hours after the last dose. Symptoms tend to peak around day three or four, and you’ll largely be free from acute symptoms within a week or so.

A general withdrawal timeframe is as follows:


You may begin to feel like you’re coming down with the flu, with typical symptoms including body aches, runny nose, sweating, yawning, fever, and some anxiety.

DAYS 2-5

Your symptoms will likely peak during this stage of withdrawal. This means they’ll be at their worst, so it is important to have some solid support during this stage so you will be less likely to relapse. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, cravings, agitation, anxiety, chills, loss of appetite, insomnia, and sweating.


Once you reach day six or seven, many of the physical symptoms will likely have subsided. If you were a heavy Demerol user, you may still be a bit uncomfortable for a few more days. Lingering symptoms can include cravings, depression, and fatigue.

If you’re tapering off Demerol, your withdrawal symptoms may spike some each time your dose is lowered. However, the lower the dosage, the less you should be feeling the intensity of the symptoms.

Why Should I Detox?

When you become addicted to a drug, the first step to getting free from that addiction is to go through a detox phase. This allows the body to rid itself from the harmful toxins associated with the drug. It’s best to undergo a detox under the care of a physician rather than try to quit cold turkey at home.

It can be dangerous to stop taking Demerol abruptly. Rather, a doctor may decrease your dosage gradually over time – otherwise known as tapering. This will help when it comes to dealing with the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms since your body is able to adjust to the reduction in dosage over time.

In addition, there are several medications that physicians use to treat the withdrawal symptoms so that you can focus on your recovery rather than getting through detox. Two common ones are Suboxone and Subutex and they are opioids as well, but you don’t feel the euphoric effects when taking them like you would with Demerol.



What is the Next Treatment Step?

Detoxing from Demerol is the first step toward freedom from addiction. Typically, detoxing occurs within about a week or so, with the possibility of some symptoms lingering on. The next treatment step is to continue treatment preferably at a residential treatment center. There you will have access to substance abuse professionals, a physician, and a therapist around-the-clock. You’ll live at the facility, which can be advantageous as you can focus 100 percent on you and your recovery.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is almost always a recommended option because you have the opportunity to live in a safe and secure environment and really work on your recovery. You’ll also be able to work on any mental or emotional issues that may be underlying the addiction, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and so on.

Outpatient Treatment

If you’re not able to leave home for residential treatment, consider attending an outpatient treatment center. This way, you will be able to live at home while still getting treatment throughout the week by attending a certain number of sessions.


You will also have access to therapists, addiction specialists, and peers that are also working on recovery.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

A third option is an intensive outpatient program (IOP), which is similar to outpatient except for the amount of time spent in treatment each week. This type of treatment is a step down from residential treatment. Many people opt to first go to residential treatment and transition to IOP to continue treatment when they are discharged. Most IOP programs require you to attend at least 12 hours a week, receiving much of the same type of treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, call the addiction specialists at New Perspectives at (855)-463-0793 or contact us onlineto learn more about your treatment options