The prescription painkillers Darvon, Darvocet and their generic versions contain the active ingredient propoxyphene. On November 19, 2010, the FDA announced it was pulling Darvon, Darvocet and their generics off the US market because of a recent study which showed that, even when taken at recommended doses, propoxyphene causes significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart.These changes, which can be seen on an ECG or EKG, can increase the risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms that have been linked to serious adverse effects, such as a fatal abnormal heart rhythm, arrhythmia, bradycardia, cardiac/respiratory arrest, congestive heart failure, tachycardia, myocardial infarction, or even death.
Another alarming finding of the study was that the risk of adverse events – even in patients who have taken the drug for years – can quickly increase because of small health changes. For example, dehydration, a change in medications or decreased kidney function may also put Darvon or Darvocet users at risk for serious, even fatal heart problems.
Several lawsuits have recently been filed on behalf of those who have suffered a heart-related injury as a result of their use of Darvon or Darvocet. The complaints allege, among other things, that the manufacturers negligently failed to perform sufficient tests.
The FDA has estimated that there were 10 million prescriptions for the medications in 2009 alone, for everything from minor aches to post-surgery pain relief. According to Public Citizen, a non-profit, consumer advocacy group, propoxyphene has been linked to many thousands of US deaths since 1981.
If you or someone you know has suffered from a heart-related condition from the use of Darvon, Darvocet or another drug containing propoxyphene, please contact Pogust Braslow & Millrood, where protecting consumers is our primary goal. Just fill out the form below to send us an email or call us at (610) 941-4204.