Pethidine, also known as meperidine and sold under the brand name Demerol among others, is a synthetic opioid pain medication of the phenylpiperidine class. Synthesized in 1939 as a potential anticholinergic agent by the German chemist Otto Eisleb, its analgesic properties were first recognized by Otto Schaumann while working for IG Farben, Germany. Pethidine is the prototype of a large family of analgesics including the pethidine 4-phenylpiperidines (piminodine, anileridine and others), the prodines (alphaprodine, MPPP, etc.), bemidones (ketobemidone, etc.) and others more distant, including diphenoxylate and analogues.