Pain Home > Darvon

Darvon is approved for the treatment of pain. This prescription medication is not considered as strong as most other narcotic pain medications. However, taking too much Darvon can lead to particularly dangerous overdose symptoms. The drug comes in capsule form and is typically taken every four hours as needed for pain. Possible side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.

What Is Darvon?

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 medication approved to treat mild-to-moderate pain.
(Click Darvon Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Brand-name Darvon is made by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.

How Does Darvon Work?

Darvon is classified as a centrally acting narcotic pain reliever. "Centrally acting" means that it works in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), rather than directly at the site of the pain. Darvon is not considered as "strong" as most other narcotic pain relievers and is particularly dangerous in the case of overdoses. As a result, Darvon is not usually a "first-choice" pain medication in most situations.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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