Some of the most common side effects of propoxyphene/acetaminophen include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and dizziness. Since only vague side effect information is available for the medication, it is not known exactly how common these side effects are. While most side effects of the drug are minor, some are potentially serious and require medical attention, such as upper-right abdominal pain, hallucinations, or bladder control problems.
An Introduction to Propoxyphene/Acetaminophen Side Effects
In November 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew all medications that contain propoxyphene from the market. It has been determined that the risks of propoxyphene outweigh the possible benefits. In particular, the FDA was concerned about the drug's ability to cause serious changes in the heart rhythm, even at normal doses. Pharmacies will no longer sell this medication, and people who take it should stop and ask their healthcare provider for a more suitable pain medication.
As with any medicine, propoxyphene/acetaminophen (Darvocet®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. In a survey of hospitalized patients, less than 1 percent of people taking normal doses of propoxyphene/acetaminophen reported experiencing side effects.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with propoxyphene/acetaminophen. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Propoxyphene: Withdrawal -- Risk of Cardiac Toxicity (11/19/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm234389.htm. November 19, 2010.
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