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Precautions and Warnings With Propoxyphene

Specific Propoxyphene Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
 
  • Propoxyphene can potentially interact with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Propoxyphene).
     
  • An overdose (either accidental or intentional) with propoxyphene can be extremely dangerous. In some cases, an overdose can be lethal within 15 minutes. Make sure to follow your propoxyphene dosage instructions very carefully, and do not exceed the recommended amount. Because it is very dangerous in the case of an overdose, propoxyphene should be prescribed cautiously to people with depression or suicidal tendencies (see Darvon Overdose or Darvon-N Overdose for more information).
     
  • Propoxyphene is a narcotic medication and has some potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with propoxyphene, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
     
  • Propoxyphene can cause slow and irregular breathing, especially at high doses. In severe situations, this can cause life-threatening complications. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
     
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how propoxyphene affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
     
  • The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Propoxyphene should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
     
  • Propoxyphene can cause a decrease in blood pressure, which can be especially dangerous if you already have low blood pressure or are prone to low blood pressure. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience signs of low blood pressure, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
     
  • Like any other narcotic, propoxyphene can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
     
  • Propoxyphene is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Darvon and Pregnancy or Darvon-N and Pregnancy).
     
  • Propoxyphene passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Darvon and Breastfeeding or Darvon-N and Breastfeeding).
     
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