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 medicine used for relieving mild-to-moderate pain. Brand-name versions of the drug are a very dark orange (almost red) color, but some of the generic forms come in bright, almost fluorescent pink tablets.
These pink Darvocet tablets are well known to abusers of the medication; it appears that the pink tablets may have a higher "street value" compared to the white tablets, simply due to their characteristic color. There should be no difference in effectiveness between the two. If you specifically request the pink Darvocet tablets, it is very likely that your pharmacist will be very suspicious of your request.
(Click Darvocet Addiction and Generic Darvocet for more information on why pink Darvocet pills are more commonly abused and to learn about some of the common signs of addiction.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Propoxyphene: Withdrawal -- Risk of Cardiac Toxicity (11/19/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm234389.htm. November 19, 2010.
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