Propoxyphene in Darvocet Linked to Heart Disturbances

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Darvocet is currently no longer on the market because of its link to deadly heart disturbances that can occur in healthy users. If you or someone you love has been abusing Darvocet and needs help, call 800-584-3274 now to find safe rehab programs that will cater to your needs.

Propoxyphene and Heart Disturbances

Propoxyphene in Darvocet

The propoxyphene in Darvocet has been shown to cause dangerous heart disturbances.

Darvocet, a brand name medication used to treat pain, contains both propoxyphene and acetaminophen. The former ingredient is an opioid, and while opioid drugs are prescribed in large amounts to treat pain despite the dangerous side effects that can occur with dependence and abuse, propoxyphene has been found to be a risky medication in particular.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, propoxyphene was studied for its ability to cause abnormal changes to cardiac rhythms. Prolonged PR interval, prolonged QT interval, and widened QRS complex were all potential alterations that doctors and scientists doing extensive research with the drug were able to uncover. Unfortunately, these types of alterations can potentially cause:

  • A rise in the risk of abnormal heart rhythms.
  • A rise in the risk of fatal heart rhythms.
  • An increased chance of toxicity to the heart.

When the research on this issue was finally extensive enough to show that the use of propoxyphene-based medications had more potential side effects than beneficial effects, the drug was taken off the market. This occurred in November of 2010 in the United States, almost 6 years after the drug was banned in the U.K. and a year after its ban in Europe.

Am I Experiencing Propoxyphene-Related Heart Problems?

If you are concerned about whether or not you may be suffering from heart issues caused by your propoxyphene use or abuse, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The longer you continue taking the drug, the more severe the results can be. Remember, even those who take Darvocet and other propoxyphene-based drugs at doctor recommended doses are putting themselves in danger of these effects.

The signs that you or someone you love may be suffering from propoxyphene-related heart problems include

  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heart rates
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Noisy gasping or snorting when sleeping due to stopped or abnormal heart rate
  • Fainting or nearly drowning while swimming (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)

Why Was Darvocet Banned from Legal Use?

Fortunately, the heart-related side effects associated with propoxyphene are not currently believed to be cumulative. In other words, once you stop taking the medication, your heart rate should go back to normal and you should not experience additional problems. However, you must see a doctor about the medication and you may need to be weaned off another drug or switched to another opioid, especially if you still need pain treatment or if you had become dependent on Darvocet.

It’s Time to Seek Help

Put an end to your Darvocet use and abuse today by calling 800-584-3274. We want to help you find the best, most effective rehab program for your current needs so you can live without fear and without substance abuse.


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