Last week, the FDA finally pulled propoxyphene – sold as Darvon and Darvocet – from the U.S. market. For nearly 50 years concerns have been raised over the side effects of Darvon/Darvocet usage, including its toxicity even at low levels and its highly addictive properties. Additionally, it has not been shown to be very effective as a painkiller – its intended use.
According to reports, its toxicity and risk of causing abnormal heart rhythms have caused thousands of deaths in patients who took these medications.
As recently reported, the FDA now concludes, even the recommended dose caused “significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart” which can “increase the risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms that have been linked to serious adverse effects, including sudden death.”
Although last week’s FDA actions in removing the drug, as well as its generic equivalents, is a positive step, it comes several decades too late, after thousands of consumers may have died as a result.