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Darvon and Alcohol

Combining alcohol and Darvon (propoxyphene hydrochloride) may potentially be dangerous. Mixing these two substances can increase the risk of developing side effects, such as shallow or infrequent breathing, drowsiness, or potentially serious reactions. You may also be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and may not be able to drink as much as you have been able to drink in the past.

Can I Combine Darvon With Alcohol?

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.


While some people may be able to safely take Darvon® (propoxyphene hydrochloride) and simply limit their alcohol consumption, others may find that they must avoid alcohol altogether. If you decide to drink while taking Darvon, it is best to drink only a small amount. It is also a good idea to have food with your alcohol and to be in the company of a trusted friend (who can help you if you get into a dangerous situation).
Alcohol and Darvon are both central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants). This means they both can slow down the functioning of the brain. Importantly, both Darvon and alcohol can cause respiratory depression (shallow or infrequent breathing). Drinking alcohol while taking this pain medication may also increase your risk for serious reactions.
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