Darvocet is the brand name of a pain medication that is a combination of propoxyphene napsylate (brand name Darvon) and acetaminophen Propoxyphene, the medication's generic name, is a narcotic pain reliever. Propoxyphene napsylate is bitter-tasting odorless powder. Acetaminophen is a less powerful pain reliever than propoxyphene. It helps to reduce fever and increases the efficacy of propoxyphene.
Darvocet is used to reduce mild to moderate pain in patients whether or not they have a fever.
Darvocet and Darvocet-N 100
Darvocet is the general name of the drug without indicating how much propoxyphene and acetaminophen it contains. The 100 in Darvocet-N 100 refers to 100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate. This combination medication also contains 650 mg of acetaminophen.
The most common dosage is one Darvocet-N 100 tablet every four hours. Patients should take no more than 6 tablets a day.
Patients taking propoxyphene plus a CYP3A4 (a type of enzyme) inhibitor should be watched carefully. Adjustments to the dosage may be necessary. A lower dose should be considered for patients who are older or whose liver or kidney functions are impaired.
When patients on Darvocet N stop taking the medication, they may be advised to do so slowly to avoid narcotic withdrawal symptoms.
FDA Recalls Darvocet
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled Darvocet and Darvon on November 19, 2010, for potential side effects that cause dangerous, sometimes fatal, heart rhythm abnormalities.
Data collected by new FDA research showed that propoxyphene could cause changes in the electrical activity of the heart.
This risk for heart attack might be increased by changes in a patient's disease state, use of other medication, or a decrease in kidney function. These dangerous changes in heart rhythm could occur at any time, regardless of how long the patient had been taking the drug.
At the time of the FDA recall, Dr. John Jenkins of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, "These new heart data significantly alter propoxyphene's risk-benefit ratio. The drug's effectiveness in reducing pain is no longer enough to outweigh the drug's serious potential heart risks."
Dr. Sidney Wolfe, of the Public Citizen's Health Research Group was an even stronger critic of propoxyphene. The action was "too little, too late," he said.
Contact a Darvocet Lawyer
If you or someone you love has had a serious heart problem while taking Darvocet, you should contact a lawyer who's had experience in representing clients in these cases. Our Darvocet attorneys are familiar with the medical aspects and well as the legal issues involved in Darvocet complications. Your initial consultation is free.
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