Darvocet and Alcohol
It is generally recommended to avoid combining Darvocet (propoxyphene/acetaminophen) with alcohol. Since the medication and alcohol are both central nervous system depressants and can cause respiratory depression, drinking alcohol while taking Darvocet can increase your risk of developing serious reactions. Potential problems include memory problems, drowsiness, and shallow or infrequent breathing.
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.
Alcohol and Darvocet® (propoxyphene/acetaminophen) are both central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants). This means they both can slow the functioning of the brain. Importantly, both Darvocet and alcohol can cause respiratory depression (shallow or infrequent breathing). Drinking alcohol while taking Darvocet may increase your risk for serious reactions.
Since alcohol may increase the risk of a fatal Darvocet overdose, it is recommended to avoid combining Darvocet with alcohol.
Drinking alcohol while taking Darvocet may increase your risk of certain Darvocet side effects, such as:
- Memory problems
- Problems with coordination
- Shallow or infrequent breathing
- Passing out
- Loss of life (especially if too much Darvocet was taken).
You may also be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol if you are taking Darvocet. You may not be able to safely drink as much alcohol as you are used to drinking in the past.
While it is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Darvocet, you should not stop taking Darvocet or stop drinking alcohol abruptly. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Also, stopping Darvocet abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms (see Darvocet Withdrawal), although these symptoms are usually not life-threatening.
If you take Darvocet and have an alcohol problem, please seek help, as this is a complicated situation that requires the skills and knowledge of a qualified healthcare provider.