How Long Does Demerol Stay In Your System?

Demerol generally stays in your system for a very short amount of time. But how long should you wait before drug testing for Demerol? We discuss Demerol’s half life here, the period of time necessary for 1/2 the drug to be eliminated or disintegrated by natural processes. And a brief discussion of the addictive nature of Demerol here.

minute read
Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.

How Do You Take Demerol?

Demerol (the brand name for the medicine called meperidine) is most often taken as needed. Demerol is usually either injected into a large muscle or added to an IV drip by a doctor. However, you can also take Demerol orally as a tablet or a liquid syrup every 3-4 hours as needed and prescribed.  What is Demerol used for?

People who become dependent on Demerol or who use the medication for non medical reasons may crush, chew, snort, or inject the drug. Less common modes of administration include rectal administration or blowing Demerol powder into the lungs. These ways of taking Demerol are major signs of possible prescription pill addiction to Demerol.

Half Life: How Long Does Demerol Stay In Your System?

When we talk about drugs in the body, most health professionals refer to a drugs “half life”. A half life is the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be removed from a person’s bloodstream. Demerol is a narcotic with a half-life of 2.5-4 hours in adults. This means that it takes 2.5 – 5 hours for one-half the dose of Demerol to leave the body after it has been administered (either by injection, tablet or syrup). Elimination half-life affects the length of time the effects of Demerol are active and can be influenced by:

  • Absorption rate
  • Age
  • Changes in urinary pH
  • Diet
  • Other medications
  • Physical condition
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein binding
  • Use of vitamins and herbal products
  • Variable metabolism

Drug Testing For Demerol

In general, it will take longer than 5 hours for Demerol to leave your body. If you’re worried about Demerol detection in your urine for drug testing, don’t.  Demerol does not usually show up on standard urine tests for opiates. This is because Demerol is an opioid analgesic medication and contains synthetic opiates, which do not metabolize to codeine, morphine, or 6-acetylmorphine.  Therefore, Demerol (meperidine) is not usually detected in urine.

Are You Addicted To Demerol?

Given its acute medical uses and strong pain relieving effect, Demerol can be very addictive. This is why is it listed as a Class II drug by the DEA. If you or a loved one have a Demerol abuse or addiction problem, help is available. You can get treatment and get better. Check out this outline of the Demerol addiction treatment process and programs to learn where you can turn for help and what to expect. To evaluate possible Demerol addiction, see the signs of Demerol use and withdrawal symptoms for opioid pain killers.  Or leave us your comments and questions. We respond to every comment in a comment or video!

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?