Darvocet (propoxyphene/acetaminophen) is a prescription medicine commonly used for pain relief. Although the drug can be helpful in many situations, there are certain situations where it should be avoided. For example, one of Darvocet's contraindications is an allergy to propoxyphene napsylate, acetaminophen, or any of the inactive components used to make the medication.
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 prescription medication approved to treat mild-to-moderate pain, with or without a fever. It contains two different medications -- propoxyphene napsylate (Darvon-N®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®). There are actually three different types of Darvocet, including:
The "official" Darvocet contraindications include:
- An allergy to Darvocet, propoxyphene napsylate, acetaminophen, or any of the inactive components used to make the medication (see Darvocet Ingredients)
- Significant respiratory depression (slow or ineffective breathing due to a variety of causes) that is not treated
- Severe asthma or are having an asthma attack
- High levels of carbon dioxide in the blood (hypercarbia)
- A bowel obstruction (paralytic ileus).
The prescribing information for Darvocet also warns that the medication should not be prescribed to people who are suicidal or prone to addiction.