Using Demerol During Labor

Learn more about the labor pain medication Demerol and how it's used during labor.
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May 9, 2017
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There’s a list of pain meds that can be used during labor, and Demerol, a narcotic, is one of them. But before you start wondering if you should ask for it at the hospital, know that Demerol is a rare treatment for labor pain because it’s usually only given in specific circumstances.
Since Demerol, which is administered intravenously, wears off relatively quickly—within two to four hours—it’s usually given to a mom-to-be who needs some short-term relief without the risk of slowing down her labor. That’s because the most common labor pain medication, epidural anesthesia, runs the risk of slowing down labor if it’s given too early—like before a mom-to-be’s cervix is dilated a few centimeters or so (exactly how dilated it should be depends on the woman and her doctor’s preferences).

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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