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January 25, 1947


Author Affiliations


From the Robert Dawson Evans Memorial, Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals, and the Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1947;133(4):243-244. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.62880040009007

The problem concerning the liability of addiction to meperidine hydrochloride (Demerol Hydrochloride) has attracted renewed interest because of recent publicity concerning the drug in the lay press. While numerous reports (Batterman1 and others2), some of them extensive, have appeared dealing with the clinical use of meperidine hydrochloride, it will probably require considerable time before detailed information concerning the extent of habituation and addiction is collected. At present it appears that since euphoria may occur following the use of the drug, certain persons are likely to become habituated, especially if it is administered over a prolonged period. However, in many instances difficulty has not been experienced in discontinuing the medicament after it has been prescribed for several months.

When meperidine hydrochloride was freely administered to one group and given in therapeutic amounts to another group of confirmed morphine addicts true addiction resulted, but the duration of physical dependence produced