propoxyphene, Darvon, Darvon-N, Dolene

What is propoxyphene, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for propoxyphene?

Darvon, Darvon-N, Dolene

Is propoxyphene available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for propoxyphene?

Yes

What are the side effects of propoxyphene?

The most frequent adverse reactions of propoxyphene include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, and vomiting. Other side effects include drowsiness, constipation, and spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty in urinating.

Propoxyphene can depress breathing and should be used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients and in patients with serious lung disease. Propoxyphene can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery. Propoxyphene may be habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief.

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Chronic Pain: Causes and Solutions
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