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Drug Facts

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

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

The medical journal Clinical Pharmacology even argued that darvocet's "most prominent effect...may be its addictive quality."

The usual dosage of Darvocet is 100 mg propoxyphene napsylate and 650 mg acetaminophen every 4 hours as needed for pain.


Darvocet's active ingredients are propoxyphene, a narcotic (opiate) pain medication (analgesic), and acetaminophen (a non-narcotic pain medication), which relieves pain better than either medication taken alone. Propoxyphene is a centrally acting narcotic analgesic agent. It works by changing the way your body feels pain. It effects the smooth muscle tissue, slowing the central nervous system. The usual dosage of Darvocet is 100 mg propoxyphene napsylate and 650 mg acetaminophen every 4 hours and is taken oraly. Darvocet is only available by prescription. The tablets are capsule shaped, dark orange, with "Darvocet-N" printed in black. Either "50" or "100" will be printed below, depending on the capsule's dosage of propoxyphene napsylate.

Darvocet is manufactured in the following dosages (propoxyphene / acetaminophen):

  • Darvocet-N 50 mg/ 325 mg tablets
  • Darvocet-N 100 mg/ 650 mg tablets

Darvocet has few side effects when taken as recommended by your doctor, but some cautions should be observed. Interactions may occur with certain medications that could alter or increase the effect of either Darvocet, or the other medication. Do not mix Darvocet with over the counter pain medication; acetaminophen can cause liver damage when mixed with certain pain medications. Check any cold or flu medication you may need to take to be sure it does not contain additional pain medication. While Darvocet is a highly effective pain reliever, it has been associated with an increased risk of addiction when used improperly, or for too long. Never take Darvocet in greater doses, or for a longer period of time, than recommended by your doctor.

If prescribed Darvocet and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you are more than halfway through your dose interval, skip the missed dose of Darvocet and go back to your schedule. Taking double doses of Darvocet is not recommended, as it may lead to a Darvocet overdose or Darvocet addiction. Also, do not crush Darvocet tablets before taking, as this could release the drug into the bloodstream too fast, possibly resulting in an overdose as well.

It is important to know that babies born to mothers taking opiates such as Darvocet can experience withdrawal symptoms after birth. The Darvocet withdrawal symptoms in the baby may include: irritability, hyperactivity, tremors, faster breathing, increased stools, fever, vomiting, sneezing, and yawning. The severity of the symptoms is not always tied to how much, or how long the mother used Darvocet.

Darvocet has many drug interactions. Darvocet works by slowing the central nervous system. It should be used with caution with other drugs that have similar effects. Darvocet can change or increase the effects of certain drugs, and your physician should be advised if you are taking any of the following.

Darvocet drug interactions include but are not limited to:

  • Street drugs of any type must never be mixed with Darvocet as this could result in a fatal overdose.
  • Alcohol - Propoxyphene and alcohol can accelerate central nervous system depression. Avoid mixing the two, as this could result in a fatal overdose. Alcohol use combined with acetaminophen can accelerate or increase the risk of liver damage or stomach bleeding.
  • Anticonvulsant/Antiseizure medication may interact with your treatment. Be especially cautious if you use Tegretol (carbamazepine), as serious neurological disorders may result. Only your doctor can advise if this combination is safe.
  • Antihistamines like Tavist or Benadryl
  • Aspirin (or any salicylate, such as salicylamide, or salicylic acid) can cause kidney or liver damage when taken in high doses, and over long periods of time, in combination with acetaminophen. When taken in the recommended doses, for a short time, it has not been seen to produce this effect.
  • Benzodiazepines (a class of antidepressants, anti-panic agents, and muscle relaxants) such as Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), Halcion (triazolam), Restoril (temazepam), Librium(chlordiazepoxide), Xanax (alprazolam), Tranxene-SD (clorazepate), Paxipam (halazepam), ProSom (estazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and others, should be used cautiously with Darvocet.
  • Coumadin (warfarin) - Increased risk of bleeding.
  • Desyrel (trazodone) - Risk of additive CNS depression.
  • MAO inhibitors - Propoxyphene must not be mixed with MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors such as the antidepressants Nardil, Marplan, or Parnate. It should not be used within 2 weeks of stopping these medications.
  • Narcotic pain medication of any other kind, like Codeine, Demerol (meperidine), Buprenex (buprenorphine), Darvon (propoxyphene hcl), Dilaudid (hydromorphone), MS Contin or Kadian (morphine), nalbuphine, OxyContin (propoxyphene), Stadol (butorphanol), Talwin compound (pentazocine), Vicodin (hydrocodone, acetaminophen), or Vicoprofen (hydrocodone, ibuprofen) should not be mixed with Darvocet.
  • Norflex (orphenadrine) - Risk of oversedation.
  • Oral contraceptives - These may interact with acetaminophen
  • Sedatives like Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine), Fiorinal, Phenobarbitol, Seconal, or other barbiturates.
  • Sleep medication like Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), or over the counter sleeping pills should be used with propoxyphene only as, and if, advised by your doctor.
  • Skeletal muscle relaxants - such as Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Skelaxin (metaxalone), Soma (carisoprodol), or Robaxin (methocarbamol) may increase respiratory depression when mixed with propoxyphene.
  • Tranquilizers such as Haldol (haloperidol), Mellaril (thioridazine), or Thorazine (chlorpromazine) may cause oversedation.
  • Trexan (naltrexone) - Causes narcotic pain medication to be ineffective.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline), Asendin (amoxapine), Anafranil (clomipramine), Pertofrane or Norpramin (desipramine), Sinequan (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine), Aventyl or Pamelor (nortriptyline), Vivactil (protriptyline), and Surmontil (trimipramine), may increase the central nervous system suppressant effects from either the antidepressant, or the propoxyphene.
  • Ultram (tramadol)
  • Zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir) - Narcotic pain medication increases blood levels of this drug, potentially making side effects more severe.


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