Preferred Sample Type

Pethidine (Meperidine)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
  • EDTA Plasma
  • Li Hep Plasma
500 ul of serum/plasma

Specimen Transport


Sample Processing in Laboratory

Centrifuge and place in toxicology box in cold room.

Sample Preparation


Turnaround Time

3 working days

Sample Stability

4 ºC

Pethidine (Meperidine)

General Information

Pethidine (Meperidine, Demerol) is a synthetic narcotic analgesic introduced in 1931. It has approximately one-eighth the potency of morphine on a weight basis with a somewhat shorter duration of action.

Adverse reactions to pethidine therapy may include nausea, vomiting, sedation, dizziness, lightheadedness and urinary retention. Serotonin syndrome may occur if the drug is used in patients receiving SSRIs or MAOIs. In overdose, pethidine causes stupor, muscle flaccidity, respiratory depression, hypotension, cold and clammy skin and coma. Naloxone is considered a specific antagonist.

Patient Preparation

For TDM, sample should be taken prior to dose. If toxicity is suspected, take sample at earliest opportunity


Please avoid use of gel seperator tubes.

Reference Range

0.1 - 0.8 mg/L


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes

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HTA licence number is 12366

Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235