Meptid (Meptazinol)

Meptid, also medically known as meptazinol, is a pain relief drug which can be used during labour. It is an opiate of similar nature to pethidine and is given during labour by form of an injection. The injection can also be given at home if you are having a home birth. It takes around 20 minutes to take effect, though it is recommended that you take the pain relief during the first stage of labour. The standard dose of meptid to be administered during labour is around 100-150mgs.

What does the application of meptid involve?

The meptid injection is normally administered to your thigh or bottom by a midwife or other qualified member. It is advised to have meptid in the first stage of labour, as there an increased risk to the baby if the injection is given at a later stage. Meptid may be given to a woman when she starts to experience stronger contractions and is in need of a stronger pain relief. 

In the first stage of labour, the cervix has to dilate up to 10cms in order for the baby to be pushed out. If the woman requests meptid at a later stage of labour then she may not be given it due to possible risks to mother and baby. Meptid has to cross through the placenta and if the baby comes into contact it can be dangerous. This is why meptid injections are always given at the earliest stage of pregnancy. In some cases, a woman may request to have a lower dosage of meptid to reduce potential risks.

What are the advantages of meptid?

The advantages to meptid as a pain relief are as follows:

  • Meptid is less likely than other pain relief options to make you feel drowsy
  • Meptid can be administered at any time in the first stage of labour
  • The pain relief takes only 15 minutes or so to come into affect
  • Meptid has less side effects to your baby’s breathing in comparison to pethidine
  • Some women find they are able to rest more easily during contractions

What are the disadvantages of meptid?

There are some disadvantages to taking meptid, an outlined below:

  • You may feel nausea and there is the chance of vomiting
  • It is one of the less popular forms of pain relief
  • It will make you feel drowsy
  • Some women become more emotional after taking meptid
  • There are risks of it coming into contact with the baby as it needs to cross the placenta
  • Some babies can have initial trouble breathing
  • It may make your baby unresponsive and difficult to feed during the early days after birth
  • Some women feel out of control with meptid

Can any pregnant woman have meptid as pain relief?

Some women may be advised not to take meptid due to personal health or if they are having a high risk pregnancy. It is always best to discuss the suitability of any pain relief with your doctor or midwife to discover which one best suits your individual needs. Meptid pain relief injections are normally administered in a hospital environment under the supervision of specialist staff. They will be able to provide assistance should there be any complications. Many delivery rooms have equipment to reverse the side effects of meptid if your baby is drowsy.

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