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Box for ampoules of Pethidine, Welwyn Garden City, England, 1981

Pethidine treats pain, particularly that of birthing women during labour. It was popular from the mid-20th century because it was seen as less addictive and safer than morphine. However, its side effects mean it has recently fallen out of favour. Pethidine may affect the baby’s breathing if it is given too close to the delivery. It may also make mothers feel woozy and make pushing more difficult. The sealed glass capsules from this box were wrapped in cloth, making them crushable so they could be inhaled in the form of a vapour. The ampoules were made by Roche Products Limited in England.

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Glossary: pregnancy

The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.

Glossary: materia medica

A Latin medical term sometimes used to refer to medical substances.

Glossary: pethidine

No description.

Glossary: analgesic

No description.