propoxyphene and acetaminophen, Darvocet A500; Darvocet-N, Wygesic

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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PRESCRIBED FOR: Propoxyphene/acetaminophen combinations are used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequent adverse reactions of propoxyphene include:

Other side effects include:

  • drowsiness,
  • constipation, and
  • spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty in urinating.

Propoxyphene can depress breathing and, therefore, is 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 it is used short-term.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: propoxyphene/acetaminophen 50/325, 65/650, 100/325, 100/500, and 100 mg/650 mg

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

DOSING: The recommended adult dose is 1-2 tablets every 4 hours as needed for relief of pain. The total dose should not exceed six 100/650 mg tablets or twelve 50/325 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 greater respiratory depression than either drug alone.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/30/2015

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