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Drug Facts

Darvocet is habit forming and should only be used under close supervision if you have an alcohol or drug addiction.

The propoxyphene in these drugs slows down the central nervous system and intensifies the effects of alcohol. Heavy use of alcohol with this drug may cause overdose symptoms. Therefore, limit or avoid use of alcohol while you are taking this medication.

Darvocet is a centrally acting narcotic analgesic agent. It works by changing the way your body feels pain.

Darvocet binds to the pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of pain is reduced.

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Darvocet Side Effects

Structurally, Darvocet is a relative of the synthetic narcotic, methadone. It's prescribed in two forms- propoxyphene hydrochloride and propoxyphene napsylate -for relief of mild to moderate pain. Darvocet produces psychological and physical dependence like other narcotics, and treatment for Darvocet addiction is much the same. Darvocet side effects are usually mild, and tend to diminish over time. As with all narcotic pain medications, Darvocet's side effects can impair performance. Driving or operating heavy machinery is not advised, as Darvocet can interfere with mental and physical abilities. Become familiar with your reaction to Darvocet before performing potentially hazardous tasks while taking it. Inform your doctor if any of these Darvocet side effects are severe or do not go away.

Darvocet side effects include but are not limited to:

Common Darvocet Side Effects:

  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • sedation
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
    • Breathing: High doses of Darvocet, or patient sensitivity, can cause breathing irregularity or other respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is the most serious likely side effect of Darvocet, and may be more likely with certain combinations of medication. Check the drug interaction list carefully, and be cautious with any drug that slows the central nervous system or 'may cause drowsiness.
    • Head Injuries: Propoxyphene's narcotic effects can cause an increase of pressure in the cerebral and spinal fluid. If a patient has suffered a head injury, both the pressure increase and the respiratory suppression can be exaggerated. Propoxyphene may interfere with an accurate diagnosis or treatment of head injuries.
    • Acute Abdominal Conditions: Darvocet may interfere with diagnosis and treatment of acute abdominal conditions.
    • Addiction: Mental and physical addiction can develop if Darvocet is used for long periods of time. Long use of propoxyphene can create a tolerance condition where the medication no longer works at the initial dosage. Acetaminophen is not known to cause addiction.

Less Common to Rare Side Effects of Darvocet are:

  • Skin rash, hives or itching
  • Red dots on skin
  • Over excitement
  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria (feeling of unusual happiness)
  • Confusion
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations

Life-threatening Side Effects of Darvocet are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing


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