Health Buzz: FDA Pulls Painkillers Darvon and Darvocet from Market

Painkillers Darvon and Darvocet will be pulled from the market in light of new research linking the drug’s active ingredient, propoxyphene, to serious—even fatal—heart rhythm problems, the Los Angeles Times reports. Doctors should stop prescribing the drugs, both of which are made by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. Patients taking the drugs should speak with their doctors immediately, and shouldn’t make the decision to stop on their own, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends. Any generic drugs containing propoxyphene must also be yanked off shelves. Friday’s news shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, though. Regulatory agencies in Britain and the European Union banned the ingredient more than a year ago, theTimes reports. And in 2009, an FDA advisory panel voted 14-12 to pull the drug, but the FDA rejected the proposal, instead calling for a study of the drug’s potential heart-related side effects. That study showed that, even in healthy patients, the drug increased the risk for potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, the Times reports.

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