Back Pain Home > Darvon-N

If you have mild-to-moderate pain, your healthcare provider may prescribe Darvon-N. This prescription medication is designed to work in the brain and spinal cord, rather than directly at the site of the pain. It comes in tablet form, and is taken every four hours as needed for pain relief. Possible side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.

What Is Darvon-N?

Darvon-N® (propoxyphene napsylate) is a prescription medication approved to treat mild-to-moderate pain.
Darvon-N contains propoxyphene napsylate, compared to regular Darvon®, which contains propoxyphene hydrochloride. There are a few important differences between the two forms of propoxyphene. Propoxyphene napsylate (the form found in Darvon-N) is less soluble in water compared to the hydrochloride form, perhaps making it less prone to abuse by injection.
(Click Darvon-N Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Brand-name Darvon-N is made by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Darvon-N Work?

Darvon-N is classified as a centrally acting narcotic pain reliever. "Centrally acting" means that it works in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), rather than directly at the site of the pain.
Darvon-N is not considered as "strong" as most other narcotic pain relievers and is particularly dangerous in the case of overdoses. As a result, it is not usually a healthcare provider's "first choice" when prescribing pain medications.

Abuse Potential

Darvon-N has some potential for both psychological and physical dependence and abuse. In fact, it is classified as a controlled substance, which means that there are special rules and regulations for prescribing and obtaining the medication. Because Darvon-N can be a desirable drug of abuse, people may buy it through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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