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.
The pain medicine Darvon® (propoxyphene hydrochloride) is prescribed for a number of uses (also called "indications"). For example, Darvon is commonly used to treat mild-to-moderate pain caused by a surgery or dental procedure. It can also be used to treat long-term pain.
Other indications for Darvon include treating pain in people who cannot take acetaminophen (as many narcotics come in combination with acetaminophen) or people who have been taking the drug for quite a while (and have responded well to it).
Darvon is only approved for use in adults, as its effects have not been adequately studied in children.
(To learn more about the indications for this medicine, click Darvon Uses. This article lists more uses for the drug and gives an overview of how it works.)