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July 25, 2012 / Admin

Darvon and Darvocet Pulled from the Market

Prescription painkillers Darvon and Darvocet were pulled from the market Friday by their manufacturer, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. According to a report from CNN, Xanodyne reportedly pulled the drugs at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Darvon is the brand name for the drug propoxyphene, and Darvocet is a brand name for propoxyphene mixed with acetaminophen.  Darvon and Darvocet have been approved for use since 1957, but officials at the FDA now believe the risks of using the drugs outweigh the benefits. The medications, which have been prescribed for 10 million people since 2009, can cause serious heart rhythm abnormalities that could potentially be fatal. Generic forms of the drugs are still available, but the FDA has asked manufacturers to stop selling them and recommended that physicians stop prescribing them.

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Controversy has surrounded propoxyphene for some time. According to an article in the Washington Post, Britain pulled the drug off the market six years ago, and Europe pulled it more than a year ago. Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has been calling for the U.S. to remove the drug for some time. In a statement issued on Friday, the group said that 1,000 to 2,000 people in the United States have died because of the drug since the United Kingdom banned it.

Patients have been advised not to stop taking it, but instead contact their doctors. Some have pointed out that stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms. For those that need to take painkillers, there are still plenty of other options out there. Consult your doctor on which one is right for you.

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