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January 2011, Volume 41 Number 1 , p 15 - 15



Because the risk of cardiac toxicity outweighs the pain relief benefit, the FDA has asked manufacturers of Darvon, Darvocet, and generic versions of the prescription opioid propoxyphene to voluntarily remove the drug from the market. A new study has shown that even when taken at recommended doses, propoxyphene may cause prolonged PR intervals, widened QRS complexes, and prolonged QT intervals, increasing the risk of serious dysrhythmias and sudden death. Data also indicate that the risk of adverse reactions for patients who've taken the drug for years can change based on small changes to the patient's health status, such as dehydration, a change in medications, or decreased renal function.The FDA urges healthcare professionals to stop prescribing and dispensing products containing propoxyphene. Tell patients currently taking the drug to contact their healthcare providers to discuss risks and find an alternative treatment.Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Xanodyne agrees to withdraw

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