How Long Does Demerol (Meperidine) Stay In Your System?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 15, 2021

Demerol (meperidine) is a prescription drug and controlled substance that can be detected using specialized drug screenings. Depending on the type of drug screen, Demerol may be detected for anywhere from one to 90 days after last use.

How Long Does Demerol Stay In Your System?

Demerol can stay in the urine, blood, saliva, and hair for anywhere from one to 90 days, depending on the type of drug screen used and other personal factors.

Demerol (meperidine) is a synthetic pain reliever that belongs to a class of medications known as opioid analgesics, or opiates. These are often prescribed to treat chronic or severe pain.

With a short half-life, the drug itself is metabolized by the body fairly quickly. Its metabolites, however, can stay in the body much longer—even after the side effects have worn off.

What Is Demerol?

Demerol is a brand name for meperidine, a synthetic opioid that is similar to methadone, tramadol, and fentanyl. Unlike natural opiates like morphine, Demerol does not come from poppy plants.

When taken, Demerol can offer quick and strong pain-relief (analgesia) that makes it useful for treating acute pain and chronic pain.

It acts in the body as a central nervous system depressant and binds to certain opioid receptors associated with pain sensation, mood, and physical movement.

Demerol Detection Times

Demerol use can be detected by analyzing samples of urine, blood, saliva, or hair for meperidine or its metabolites.

Demerol detection times, by drug testing method are as follows:

  • urine tests: up to 3 days
  • blood tests: up to 24 hours
  • saliva tests: up to 48 hours
  • hair tests: up to 90 days

These are average detection times that refer to the amount of time Demerol may be detected in the system after your last dose.

How Long Does Demerol Stay In Urine?

Urine tests are the preferred method for detecting drug use. Demerol remains in urine for one to three days after your last dose.

How Long Does Demerol Stay In Blood?

Demerol remains in the blood for up to one day, or 24 hours, after use. This is similar to the detection time for other opioids, such as oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone.

How Long Does Demerol Stay In Saliva?

Drug screenings that analyze oral fluids, like saliva, can detect Demerol use within a few minutes and up to 48 hours after last use.

How Long Does Demerol Stay In Hair?

Hair testing offers the longest detection window for drug use. Demerol remains in hair follicles for up to three months or 90 days.

Factors That Can Affect Demerol Detection Times

The amount of time it takes for Demerol to leave the system is not the same for everyone. This can vary, based on personal, genetic, and biological factors.

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Factors that can affect drug test detection times include:

  • Frequency of drug use: Frequent use of Demerol can lead to increased tolerance and physical dependence, both of which can extend the detection window.
  • Amount of drug used: Large doses of Demerol may take longer for the body to metabolize and eliminate from the bloodstream.
  • Body composition: Personal factors such as weight and body fat can affect drug absorption and metabolism.
  • Metabolic rate: The speed of your metabolism can affect how long it takes for the body to eliminate drugs from the system.
  • Liver and kidney function: Impaired liver and kidney function can result in longer detection times.
  • Polydrug use: Taking multiple drugs (e.g. with benzodiazepines, antidepressants) can affect how long it takes for the body to metabolize Demerol.

How To Get Demerol Out Of Your System

Contrary to popular beliefs about drinking water to flush drugs out of your system, the only way to get drugs like Demerol out is to stop taking it.

If you’ve been taking Demerol for a long period of time, you may need to gradually taper your dosage or detox from Demerol with the support of a healthcare professional.

Demerol Dependence And Withdrawal

Chronic use of Demerol can lead to drug dependence. This can trigger withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to go more than 12 to 24 hours without another dose.

If you or a loved one is physically dependent on Demerol, the safest way to get Demerol out of your system is to enter a detox program to receive support from medical professionals.

Finding Detox And Treatment For Demerol Abuse

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Demerol can be habit-forming. Like other common drugs of abuse, Demerol can be abused for its effects.

Seeking treatment for opioid abuse or addiction may be recommended if you or a loved one is unable to control your drug use or is taking Demerol in ways other than prescribed.

Demerol abuse can be treated through drug detox, medications for opioid use disorder, and behavioral therapy as part of a behavioral health treatment program.

For more information about Demerol abuse, addiction, or to find addiction treatment options near you, call our helpline today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 15, 2021
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