Precautions and Warnings With Propoxyphene/Acetaminophen

If you are about to take propoxyphene/acetaminophen, it's important to know the precautions and warnings with this drug. For example, this medication isn't right for everyone. Since propoxyphene/acetaminophen contains a narcotic and has the potential to be abused, it is not recommended for people who have a history of alcohol or drug dependence. An accidental or intentional overdose can be fatal within 15 minutes.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Propoxyphene/Acetaminophen?

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.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking propoxyphene/acetaminophen (Darvocet®) if you have:
  • A lung problem, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cor pulmonale
  • Problems with your pancreas or gallbladder
  • A history of head injury
  • An intestinal blockage (bowel obstruction)
  • Depression
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • A history of drug or alcohol dependence
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew About Chronic Pain Medications

Propoxyphene/Acetaminophen Drug Information

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