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

Empty box for ten 1.1 ml ampoules of pethidine 50

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Empty box for ten 1.1 ml ampoules of pethidine 50
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Empty box for ten 1.1 ml ampoules of Pethidine 50, by Roche Products Ltd., 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.


Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
cardboard and empty
overall: 37 mm x 90 mm x 75 mm, 0.1 kg
analgesic and carton
Gift of Roche Products Limited