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What is Darvon?

Darvon or propoxyphene belongs to the narcotic (opioid) analgesic drug class that helps treat mild to moderate pain. Darvon is no longer available in the United States. There may be generic versions available. You can buy Darvon online with a prescription.

Important Information

  • Do not take propoxyphene if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or actions. Avoid taking propoxyphene with a sedative (such as Valium or Xanax), an antidepressant, and alcohol.
  • Propoxyphene may be habit-forming. So, do not use propoxyphene without a prescription. Keep this drug in a secure location where no one else can get to it. If you are taking propoxyphene, you should not consume alcohol. Combining alcohol with a narcotic pain reliever may lead to dangerous side effects or death. Check the labels on your food and medications to ensure that they do not contain alcohol.
  • Take no more propoxyphene than prescribed. Inform your doctor if the medication is not relieving your pain as well as it used to. Propoxyphene has side effects that can impair one’s ability to think or react. Be cautious if you drive or do anything else that requires you to be awake and alert. If you abruptly stop taking propoxyphene, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

What to know before taking Darvon?

Before using Darvon, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • A history of a brain tumor or a previous head injury
  • Sleep apnea, asthma, COPD, or other breathing disorders
  • Mental illness
  • A history of drug or alcohol addiction

If you have any of the health conditions mentioned above, you may be unable to use Darvon and may require a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Do not take propoxyphene if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or actions. Avoid taking propoxyphene with a sedative (such as Valium or Xanax), an antidepressant, and alcohol.

Propoxyphene may be habit-forming, so do not use it without a prescription. Do not give propoxyphene to another person, especially if they have a history of drug abuse or addiction.

The FDA classifies propoxyphene as a pregnancy category C drug because it can harm an unborn baby and cause breathing problems and addiction and withdrawal symptoms in newborns. Inform your doctor if you become pregnant while undergoing treatment. Propoxyphene may pass on to a nursing baby through breast milk. Do not use propoxyphene if you are breastfeeding without first consulting your doctor.

How to take Darvon?

  • Take propoxyphene as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take propoxyphene in higher doses or for a longer time. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Inform your doctor if your pain reliever is not working as well as it used to.
  • Take each propoxyphene dose with a full glass of water. If propoxyphene causes stomach upset, take it with food or milk. If you stop taking propoxyphene abruptly, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Consult your doctor for tips on avoiding withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the medication.

Darvon dosage

Adult dosage for pain

  • The recommended dosage is one 65 mg propoxyphene hydrochloride capsule every 4 hours as needed for pain.
  • Take 100 mg of Napsylate orally every 4 hours as needed.
  • Dosages should not exceed 390 mg (capsules) or 600 mg (tablets) in 24 hours.

Overdose

  • If you think you have taken too much of this medication, seek emergency medical attention right away. An overdose of propoxyphene can be fatal, especially if you also consume alcohol or take a sedative or antidepressant.
  • An overdose of propoxyphene can cause confusion, cold and clammy skin, extreme drowsiness, pinpoint or dilated pupils, blue lips, a weak pulse, a slow or uneven heart rate, shallow breathing, fainting, or stopping breathing. 

What to avoid while using Darvon?

  • While taking propoxyphene, avoid drinking alcohol. Combining alcohol with a narcotic pain reliever may lead to dangerous side effects or death. Check the labels on your food and medications to ensure that they do not contain alcohol. Propoxyphene has the potential to cause side effects that impair your thinking or reactions. Be cautious if you drive or do anything else that requires you to be awake and alert.
  • Propoxyphene may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice, resulting in potentially dangerous side effects. Before using grapefruit products, consult a doctor. You should change the amount of grapefruit products in your diet only after consulting with your doctor.

Darvon side effects

Some common side effects of Darvon (propoxyphene) include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Stomach pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Skin rash

You must tell your doctor if you develop any of the following serious side effects of Darvon:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Fainting
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Seizure or convulsions
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

What drugs can interact with Darvon?

Do not take propoxyphene with other medicines that may make you sleepy or slow your breathing, tranquilizers, sedatives, muscle relaxers, etc. The result may be harmful side effects.

Before taking Darvon, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • Aprepitant (Emend)
  • Bosentan (Tracleer)
  • Conivaptan (Vaprisol)
  • Dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol)
  • Imatinib (Gleevec)
  • St. John’s wort
  • Isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis)
  • Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • An antidepressant such as nefazodone
  • A blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Seizure medicine such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or phenytoin (Dilantin), or primidone (Mysoline)
  • Barbiturates such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton)
  • Antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), or telithromycin (Ketek)
  • Antifungal medicine such as clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend)
  • Drugs for heart or blood pressure such as diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others
  • HIV/AIDS medicines such as atazanavir (Reyataz), efavirenz (Sustiva), delavirdine (Rescriptor), etravirine (Intelence), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), nevirapine (Viramune), or ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Drugs to treat narcolepsy, such as armodafanil (Nuvigil) or modafanil (Progivil)