Darvon and Darvocet are both a class of drugs that consists of propoxyphene. Propoxyphene is type of pain reliever that was patented in the United States in 1955. While the drug was developed and sold by Eli Lily for most of its existence, it was acquired by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals in 2005. Over the years, Propoxyphene has been marketed with differing brandings and formulations. These include:
- Darvon and Darvon-N
- Darvocet, Darvocet-N (containing acetaminophen)
- Darvon with A.S.A., Darvon-N with A.S.A. (containing aspirin)
- Darvon Compound, Darvon Compound-65 (containing aspirin and caffeine)
Potential concerns with Propoxyphene first emerged onto the national scene in 1978 when consumer groups charged that it may have an association with suicide risk. However the product was not recalled and it continued to be prescribed in the United States for more than 34 years. In 2009 generic versions of Darvon and Darvocet were the 38th most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. However in November of 2010, the FDA prohibited the sale of Darvon and other propoxyphene-based pain killers resulting in a mass recall. Propoxyphene has also been withdrawn form or is being withdrawn from the United Kingdom, European Union, New Zealand, Canada and India.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious medical issue or event while taking Darvon or Darvocet, you may be entitled to compensation. If your loved one passed away while taking a propoxyphene-based pain killer you may be able to bring a wrongful death suit.
Darvon and Darvocet Risks & Dangers
Darvon and Darvocet have been withdrawn from the market due to risks identified by the FDA. After multiple petitions to ban the drug in January 2009, a 14-12 advisory committee vote sealed the fate of the drug. Potential risks of propoxyphene include:
- Heart arrhythmia – The stated reason for the FDA’s decision to recall Propoxyphene is that electrical changes can occur in the hearts of healthy people taking it. This can lead to arrhythmia and other cardiac complications.
- Small gap between therapeutic and deadly dose – Propoxyphene is fairly unique in that a fatal dose is rather near to a therapeutic one meaning that its therapeutic index is narrow. Overdose generally occurs due to two separate mechanisms. First, liver failure may occur due to the acetaminophen in some versions. Second an overdose due to propoxyphene can occur due to central nervous system depression, respiratory depression, and other causes.
- Addiction risk – Propoxyphene is classified as an opioid and a narcotic. Such medications are often habit-forming and can lead to death or severe injury due to their synergistic effects.
Available medical data suggests that even small alterations in an individual’s physiology can increase the likelihood of an adverse or life-threatening Darvocet side effect. Small changes like an alteration in medications, dehydration, weight gain or weight loss can all impact how oyur body reacts to propoxyphene.
Darvon and Darvocet Lawyers Fight for You
Doctors have been advised to prescribe alternate pain relievers for patients and the drug has been recalled from the U.S. market. However with more than half a century on the market, propoxyphene has impacted countless individuals and families. If you or a family member have suffered heart arrhythmia, heart problems, or other negative side effects due to Darvon or Darvocet you may be entitled to monetary compensation.
For more than 34 years the personal injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily have stood-up for those injured by pharmaceuticals and other products. To schedule your free and confidential Darvon or Darvoset consultation call our firm at (215) 274-0072 or contact us online.