It’s been 25 years since the dangers of propoxyphene, also know as darvocet, have been known. In November, 2010, regulators finally decided to pull it.
While studies show darvocet is not any more effective than acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain, it has been judiciously prescribed by healthcare providers for decades.
Other studies have shown that darvocet and the generic equivalent, increase what is called the QT interval, leading to life threatening irregular heartbeats in those who are susceptible. It is unknown how many people have actually died from this drug but surely the number is in the thousands.
Ask your doctor what other medicines are available if you need something for pain. Your doctor may consider tramadol or Tylenol with codeine as options. As with all medicines, side effects must be considered.
Also, consider asking your healthcare provider if fish oil supplements are ok take. Studies have shown that omega 3 fish oil pills have anti-inflammatory effects, similar to naproxen and Celebrex. There is no evidence life threatening side effects from fish oils, like there are with other leading anti-inflammatories (remember Vioxx?).
In 2009, it was estimated that 10 million people were taking propoxyphene (Darvocet) containing products.