Darvocet (also known under the brand name Darvon and the generic form propoxyphene) was finally pulled off United States store shelves in mid-November of 2010. The drug – a prescription painkiller primarily manufactured by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – has been on the market for over 50 years and has been used by tens of millions of people in that time.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s action in removing Darvocet from the market is seen by some as “too little, too late.” Consumer watchdog groups like Public Citizen have been raising questions about the benefits of the medication versus the possible risks (specifically those caused by its often-toxic metabolism in the body) since 1978. Regulators in the United Kingdom pulled the medication off the market in 2005, and the European Union did the same in 2009.
The FDA’s rationale in delaying the withdrawal of propoxyphene-based medications from the marketplace is that they needed to perform their own independent analysis of the drug’s effects. Their own study proved that even when the drug is taken as prescribed and at recommended doses, it significantly increased the risk of heart arrhythmia and sudden death.
Given the amount of time that the Darvon, Darvocet and propoxyphene medications were available for use, it is possible that many thousands of injuries or sudden deaths will be linked to the drugs. If you or a loved one took Darvocet, Darvon or a generic equivalent and suffered heart damage, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your rights and responsibilities under the law.