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[mass noun] A synthetic compound used as a painkilling drug, especially for women in labour.
- ‘The court heard he had been injecting himself in the arms and legs for six months with pethidine, a pain-relieving drug normally given to women in labour.’
- ‘Pain was treated with oral paracetamol, intravenous pethidine, or tramadol.’
- ‘Those who were allocated an epidural had no more back pain in the year after delivery than controls who received intramuscular pethidine.’
- ‘He looked pretty sick, so I started treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics, followed by pethidine, which made him doze off for a while.’
- ‘Midazolam and pethidine were used for conscious sedation as needed.’
1940s: from p(iper)idine (from which the drug is derived), with the insertion of eth(yl).
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