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 pain medication specifically approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate pain. It contains a narcotic and is classified as a controlled substance. Darvocet oral tablets are available 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.
The narcotic component of the medication (propoxyphene) works in the central nervous system. It is chemically related to methadone. The other active ingredient in Darvocet is acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications such as Tylenol®. Adding acetaminophen to propoxyphene increases the effectiveness for relieving pain and also provides fever-reducing properties.
(Click Darvocet to learn about the warnings and precautions for Darvocet, for more detailed dosing guidelines for this medication, and to find out what side effects have been reported with this drug.)