NZ Formulary

Pethidine

peth-ih-deen

What does it do?

Pethidine is used to relieve strong pain.

How should you take it?

Take pethidine as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If pethidine is taken regularly, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is clsoe to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with pethidine including:

  • sedating antihistamines (e.g. Phenergan®)
  • cough suppressants (e.g. Duro-Tuss®, Benadryl Dry Forte®)
  • pain relief medicines containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine®)
  • some migraine medicines, such as sumatriptan (e.g. Sumagran Active®) or zolmitriptan (e.g. Zomig®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. valerian) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Slow or shallow breathing, hard to wake up

Change in heartbeat

Seizures

Tell your doctor immediately

Constipation

Confusion, dizziness, agitation, hallucinations, mood swings

Tell your doctor

Drowsiness, weakness, headache, trouble sleeping

Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset

Dry mouth or throat, changes in vision, trouble peeing

Swollen feet or legs

Sweating

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have lung, bowel, liver, kidney, bladder, pancreas or heart problems, if you have ever had a seizure, or have had a recent head injury.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • If pethidine is not relieving your pain contact your health professional – your dose may need changing.
  • Pethidine may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • Pethidine may be addictive with long-term use.