In November 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew all medications that contain propoxyphene from the market. It has been determined that the risks of propoxyphene outweigh the possible benefits. In particular, the FDA was concerned about the drug's ability to cause serious changes in the heart rhythm, even at normal doses. Pharmacies will no longer sell this medication, and people who take it should stop and ask their healthcare provider for a more suitable pain medication.
Darvocet® (propoxyphene/acetaminophen) is a narcotic medication used for the treatment of mild-to-moderate pain. It is available by prescription only and comes in three different strengths, including:
- Darvocet-N 50 -- 50 mg of propoxyphene napsylate and 325 mg of acetaminophen
- Darvocet-N 100 -- 100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate and 650 mg of acetaminophen
- Darvocet A500 -- 100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate and 500 mg of acetaminophen.
For Darvocet-N 50 and Darvocet-N 100, the recommended dosage is 100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate and 650 mg of acetaminophen (equal to one Darvocet-N 100 tablet or two Darvocet-N 50 tablets). The recommended starting dosage for Darvocet A500 is 100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate and 600 mg of acetaminophen (one Darvocet A500 tablet). The drug is typically taken every four hours as needed for pain.
If you take other medications containing acetaminophen, it is critical to monitor your total acetaminophen intake. The maximum recommended dose of acetaminophen for healthy people is 4000 mg per day. To be safe, all other acetaminophen products should be avoided while you are taking Darvocet.
(Click Darvocet Dosage to find out what the maximum recommended doses are for various Darvocet products and for a list of important precautions and tips for using this medication.)