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Is Darvocet a Narcotic?

Many people taking Darvocet (propoxyphene/acetaminophen) may wonder if the drug is a narcotic. Darvocet is a prescription pain reliever that contains both acetaminophen and a narcotic called propoxyphene. It is generally considered to be a relatively weak painkiller. However, it is classified as a controlled substance and should not be viewed as a "harmless" drug.

Is Darvocet Considered a Narcotic?

Darvocet® (propoxyphene/acetaminophen) is a prescription pain medication. It is a narcotic medication and is classified as a controlled substance.
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 and DEA Classification

Controlled substances are drugs (both legal or illegal) that are listed in the Controlled Substances Act. These drugs have the potential to be abused and are subject to specific rules and regulations that are stricter, compared to medications that are not controlled substances.
There are different levels or "schedules" of controlled substances, with Schedule I being the most addictive (and with no recognized medicinal purpose) and Schedule V being the least addictive. Darvocet is classified as a Schedule IV drug. This means that it has less abuse potential compared to a Schedule I, II, or III medication but more compared to a Schedule V medication. Examples of other Schedule IV drugs include many sleep medications (such as Ambien®) and anxiety medications (such as Xanax®).
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