propoxyphene, Darvon, Darvon-N, Dolene

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Please Note: propoxyphene, (Darvon, Darvon-N, Dolene) has been withdrawn from the U.S. market. Click here for the FDA information.

Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD

GENERIC NAME: propoxyphene

BRAND NAME: Darvon, Darvon-N, Dolene

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Propoxyphene is a narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant but is weaker than morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. The precise mechanism of action is not known but may involve stimulation of opioid (narcotic) receptors in the brain. Propoxyphene increases pain tolerance and decreases discomfort but the presence of pain still is apparent. In addition to pain reduction, propoxyphene also causes sedation and respiratory depression. The FDA approved propoxyphene in August 1957.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablet: 100 mg; Capsules: 65 mg

STORAGE: Capsules and tablets should be stored at room temperature, between 15- 30 C (59-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Propoxyphene is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain.

DOSING: The recommended adult dose is 1 capsule (65 mg) or 1 tablet (100 mg) every 4 hours as needed for relief of pain. Doses should not exceed 390 mg (capsule) or 600 mg (tablets) in a 24-hour period.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Propoxyphene, like other narcotic pain-relievers, increases the effect of drugs that slow brain function, such as alcohol, barbiturates, skeletal muscle relaxants, for example, carisoprodol (Soma) and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and benzodiazepine sedatives, for example, diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). Combined use of muscle relaxants and propoxyphene may lead to increased respiratory depression.

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