Darvon / Darvocet Overview - FindLaw

What is Darvocet?

Darvocet or Darvon (propoxyphene) is a prescription pain medication used to relieve mild to moderate pain.

Darvocet in the News

Public Citizen, a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization, petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately begin phasing out Darvon (Darvocet) products from the market. Public Citizen alleges that the drug has been associated with more than 2,000 accidental deaths, is physically addictive, and is no more effective than safer alternatives. Click here to read more from Public Citizen.

Taking Darvocet

Darvocet comes as a tablet, capsule, and liquid and is taken by mouth. Patients taking Darvocet should use it exactly as directed. Patients are also warned that Darvocet can be habit-forming.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Professional Before Taking Darvocet?

Before taking Darvocet, tell your healthcare professional if you:

  • are allergic to propoxyphene (Darvocet) or any other drugs
  • have or ever had liver or kidney disease
  • have a history of alcoholism
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding (call your healthcare professional if you become pregnant while taking Darvocet)

If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your healthcare professional and/or dental healthcare professional if you are taking Darvocet.

Darvocet Health Risks

Darvocet in high doses (taken by itself or in combination with other drugs) has been associated with drug-related deaths. Do not take Darvocet in combination with other drugs that cause drowsiness -- such as alcohol, tranquilizers, sleep aids, antidepressants, or antihistamines. Do not take Darvocet in a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer period than told by your healthcare professional (or than prescribed).

Call your healthcare professional immediately if you experience difficulty breathing after taking Darvocet.

Although side effects associated with Darvocet use are not common, they can still occur. Tell your healthcare professional if any of the following symptoms are severe and/or persistent:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Skin rash
  • Mood changes
  • Headache

Can Other Foods and Drugs Interact with Darvocet?

Darvocet and certain other medicines can interact with each other. Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take -- including prescription and non-prescription medicines.

Be sure to tell your healthcare professional if you take:

  • other pain relievers
  • anticoagulants ('blood-thinners'), such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • antidepressants
  • antihistamines
  • medications for cough, cold, or allergies
  • muscle relaxants
  • sedatives
  • seizure medications
  • sleeping pills
  • tranquilizers
  • vitamins

Talk to your healthcare professional before drinking alcohol while taking Darvocet, because alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by Darvocet.

Darvocet - Getting Legal Help

While all medications have certain anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to make its products as reasonably safe as possible, and to inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held legally responsible if patients are injured as the result of inadequate warnings or the unreasonably dangerous nature of the drug, under a legal theory called "product liability."

If you or a loved one have experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while taking Darvocet, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. You may also wish to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and to protect your right to a legal remedy for any injuries caused by Darvocet use.

  • Go here to learn more about an attorney's role in a pharmaceutical liability case.
  • To find an experienced attorney, use the "Find a Lawyer" tool on this page, or click here.