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.
Darvon® (propoxyphene hydrochloride) is a prescription drug licensed for the treatment of mild-to-moderate pain. It comes in capsule form and is taken by mouth every four hours as needed to control pain. Although most people have no problems during treatment, there are some important safety issues with Darvon to keep in mind.
For example, as with any drug, side effects are possible with Darvon. Most are mild and easily treated; however, there are serious side effects to watch out for, such as allergic reactions, seizures, and hallucinations. Because Darvon is a narcotic drug and is a desired drug of abuse, it may not be the best choice for people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
To ensure your safety with Darvon, it is important not to exceed the recommended dosage or decrease it too quickly without your healthcare provider's approval and supervision. This pain reliever is particularly dangerous if too much of it is taken; an overdose may be lethal within 15 minutes.
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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