- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- What is propoxyphene, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for propoxyphene?
- Is propoxyphene available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for propoxyphene?
- What are the side effects of propoxyphene?
- What is the dosage for propoxyphene?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with propoxyphene?
- Is propoxyphene safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about propoxyphene?
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 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.
Quick GuideChronic Pain Syndrome: Treatment and Management for CPS
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.
Is propoxyphene safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of propoxyphene in pregnant women.
Low concentrations of propoxyphene have been measured in the breast milk of mothers taking propoxyphene. It is not known whether these small amounts can cause side effects in nursing infants.
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, Darvon-N, 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
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness...
Restless Leg Syndrome (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Medications, Home Remedies)
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more...
Pain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive...
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and...
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 17 Warning Signs of Serious Complications
- Prescription Drug Abuse
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Pain (Acute and Chronic)
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Pain Management Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top propoxyphene Related Articles
ArthritisArthritis 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 PainChronic 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 AbuseDrug 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.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Pain ManagementPain 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.
propoxyphene and acetaminophenPropoxyphene and acetaminophen (Darvocet A500; Darvocet-N, Wygesic are no longer available in the U.S.) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate pain. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Restless Leg SyndromeRestless 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.