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Darvon, Darvocet Removed From Market

By November 23, 2010

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Do you have a prescription for Darvon or Darocet for pain relief? If so, you need to see your healthcare provider to get a prescription for an alternative medication. You may also want to see a cardiologist to check for adnormal heart rythms.

Two popular pain pills, approved for use in 1957 and still widely used, have been pulled from the market in the United States because of their dangerous side effects.

Darvon and Darvocet have been banned from use by the Food & Drug Administration, a move some experts say is long overdue. The drugs, known generically as propoxyphene, were banned in Britain in 2005 and in Europe in 2009. In January 2009, an FDA advisory committee recommended the removal of the drugs, but that recommendation was rejected by the agency. Instead the FDA ordered a study of the drug's effects on the heart.

Link to Heart Problems

When the study showed that propoxyphene is linked to heart rhythm abnormalities, the FDA finally ordered the drug taken off the market. The agency urged doctors to stop prescribing the drugs immediately.

Darvon, an opiate-based medication, is prescribed for mild to moderate pain. Darvocet is propoxyphene combined with acetaminophen. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Newport, Kentucky, the maker of Darvon and Darvocet, said it would comply with the FDA's recommendation.

The removal of the drug from the market should have little effect on the estimated 10 million people who were taking it, because there are newer, more effective pain killers now available, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin.

Evidence Going Back 30 Years

But the action may be too late for some patients, some observers noted. There has been evidence that Darvon caused heart arrhythmias for more than 30 years. Public Citizen's Health Research Group has lobbied against the drug for years and petitioned the FDA to take action against it in 2006.

More than 1,000 people have died due to use of Darvon, the group said.

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Photo: DEA
January 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm
(1) sherry says:

I have known darvocet to be an excellent med for pain. All meds have side effects, look at a lot of the new drugs out, I would rather have the disease! Propox ias one of the most effective pain killers with the least side effects out there. I hope all involved in its removal die horrid painful deaths, as I have to watch the elderly in my family suffer. OTCs are useless trash and the stronger meds are not an option.

January 27, 2011 at 11:11 am
(2) CARol watson says:

I have taken Darvocet for years. I am a chronic pain patient. Darvocet worked and I never had a side effect. I keep a medical medication journal so I know exactly what drug is taken when. Myprimary dr. will not prescribe Vicodin or Oxy. Says I need to go to a pain dr. Tylenol 3 doesn’t work as well and my dr. only prescribed limited amts. of that. OTC anti- iinflammatories cause horrible gastric problems. The Warnings on these say they can cause ulcers and g.i. bleeding..serious conditions..you can obtain these without a scirpt!!!

Watching newer drugs advertised on TV warn of much more serious side effects. I am a migrainer and tried Imitrex. Talk about increased heart rate!!! Hot flashes! I thought I was going to die. That is still on the market. Put Darvocet back on the market and let the drs. decide.

Thanks for listening and how do we get Darvocet back on the market? Is there any chance that is going to happen?


March 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm
(3) nancy says:

My parents took Darvocet. Dad died 5 years ago at the age of 90 and Mom died 6 months ago at the age of 84. I have taken Darvocet for 20 or more years. This is only relief from constant pain. I am now on vicodin(having may side effects). I could not tolerate Ultracet. Please put Darvocet back on the market. Until you have to try living with constant pain and sometimes think there is no end to it now, you would not understand. Many many millions have taken Darvocet for so many years. I see ads stating this drug or that drug can cause stroke, heart attack, some forms of cancer and the list goes on. Have a heart fir us out here that only Darvocet seemed to help us live a half way nomal life.

August 19, 2011 at 10:39 am
(4) Kathleen says:

They didn’t remove Darvocet in time for me. I took it for several days after surgery last October and had horrifying hallucinations where I screamed repeatedly for days, as well as tried to crawl through walls, tearing at the plaster on the walls. Tore up my hands, pulled out stitches and set back my recovery quite a bit until I got a different pain medication.

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