The increased need for morphine in time of war and the present threat to our opium supply make it important that appropriate consideration be given to the new analgesic Demerol, for this compound can be prepared synthetically from available chemicals. Although it has been used in this country by only a few investigators and only recently was released by the Food and Drug Administration, considerable knowledge has accumulated concerning its pharmacology and clinical usefulness. It is therefore considered advisable to present at this time a review of present knowledge on Demerol with especial reference to its pharmacology, clinical uses and safety in comparison with morphine.
Demerol (1-methyl 4-phenyl-piperidine 4-carboxylic acid ethyl ester hydrochloride) was synthesized in 1939 by Eisleb and Schaumann.1 It represents one of a large group of piperidine compounds possessing spasmolytic properties. Its close similarity to atropine can be discerned on inspection of the chemical formulas.
BATTERMAN RC, HIMMELSBACH CK. DEMEROL—A NEW SYNTHETIC ANALGESICA REVIEW OF ITS PRESENT STATUS AND COMPARISON WITH MORPHINE. JAMA. 1943;122(4):222–226. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840210014004