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What is propoxyphene? What is propoxyphene used for?
Propoxyphene is indicated for the relief of mild to moderate pain.
It 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?
Do I need a prescription for propoxyphene?
What are the side effects of propoxyphene?
There have been numerous cases of accidental and intentional overdose with propoxyphene products either alone or in combination with other CNS depressants, including alcohol.
Fatalities within the first hour of overdosage are not uncommon.
Many of the propoxyphene-related deaths have occurred in patients with previous histories of emotional disturbances or suicidal ideation/attempts and/or concomitant administration of sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or other CNS-depressant drugs. Do not prescribe propoxyphene for patients who are suicidal or have a history of suicidal ideation.
Common 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 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.
What is the dosage for propoxyphene?
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with propoxyphene?
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.
Drugs which both stimulate and block opioid receptors, for example pentazocine (Talwin), nalbuphine (Nubain), butorphanol (Stadol), and buprenorphine (Buprenex) may reduce the effect of propoxyphene and may precipitate propoxyphene withdrawal symptoms.
The metabolism of propoxyphene may be altered by strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (such as ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, nelfinavir, nefazadone, amiodarone, amprenavir, aprepitant, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fosamprenavir, grapefruit juice, and verapamil) leading to enhanced propoxyphene plasma levels. Patients receiving propoxyphene and any CYP3A4 inhibitor should be carefully monitored for an extended period of time and dosage adjustments should be made if warranted.
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Is propoxyphene safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of propoxyphene in pregnant women.
What else should I know about propoxyphene?
What preparations of propoxyphene are available?
Tablet: 100 mg; Capsules: 65 mg
How should I keep propoxyphene stored?
Capsules and tablets should be stored at room temperature, between 15- 30 C (59-86 F).
Propoxyphene (Darvon, Dolene) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate pain. Side effects, warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Related Disease Conditions
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
Pain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Some causes of neuropathic pain include: complex regional pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. There are a variety of methods to treat chronic pain, which are dependant on the type of pain experienced.
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