"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
PROPOXYPHENE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Darvon, Darvon-N
WARNING: Propoxyphene has caused overdose (even death) when taken in large doses, either alone or with alcohol/drugs that can affect breathing or cause drowsiness (such as antidepressants, sedatives, muscle relaxants). Do not take this medication more often or use a larger dose than prescribed. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Other medications can affect the removal of propoxyphene from your body, which may affect how propoxyphene works. Examples include nefazodone, St. John's wort, azole antifungals (such as itraconazole), HIV protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), rifamycins (such as rifampin), among others. Before taking propoxyphene, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the medications you may use.
USES: FDA and Health Canada have requested that manufacturers voluntarily withdraw propoxyphene-containing medications from the US and Canadian markets due to several problems with safety, and its limited effectiveness.
This medication is used to help relieve mild to moderate pain. Propoxyphene belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic (opiate) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking propoxyphene and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain relief. Do not take more than 6 tablets/capsules in a 24-hour period. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If you have ongoing pain (such as due to arthritis), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting narcotic medications. Other non-narcotic pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using propoxyphene safely with other drugs.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
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