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FDA Expert Panel Recommends Darvon Ban

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, February 02, 2009 10:32 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Darvon, Painkillers, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Darvocet, Top Ten Dangerous Drugs

Darvon ban encouraged by expert panel to FDA.



IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockphoto/ headache sufferer/ author: Kaisphoto


An expert panel advised the Food and Drug Administration Friday that the painkiller, Darvon should be banned. 

Darvon has been on the market since 1957, but in a 14-12 vote,  the panel said it provides little relief and has the downside of suicide and an overdose risk. 

Generally the FDA follows the expert’s advice, but not always. 

Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen tells the Associated Press, “It has been a big drug of abuse for quite a long time.”  Public Citizen had encouraged the FDA to ban Darvon in the 1970s. In his presentation to the advisory panel, Dr. Wolfe included data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network, which tracks ER visit and deaths.

DAWN includes more than 500 Darvon-related deaths in 2007, with about 20 percent being suicides.  446 were reported the previous year and the network reportedly does not cover the entire U.S.

Darvon, including a dose of acetaminophen is called Darvocet and prescribed about 20 million times in the U.S. annually. The FDA has the option of requiring a black box, the most serious warning label a drug can carry. 

Darvon’s distributors Zanodyne Pharmaceuticals and Qualitest/Vintage Pharmaceuticals says the medication is safe when used as directed.  AP reports it is one of the most commonly prescribed medications.

Dr. Jerry Avorn, a professor of medicine at Harvard tells AP the tough look at Darvon should be commended. "I have been astonished at how widely used this drug is," Avorn said. "It's no longer the most abusable and most dangerous drug in its class, but the fact that there are worse drugs doesn't make Darvon a good drug."

The UK banned Darvon in 2005. #


Anonymous User
Posted by Valerie
Monday, February 02, 2009 9:15 PM EST

If we are to follow the logic of FDA advisory committee, then we might as well ban all narcotic drugs for the high abuse, addiction rate. Any drug can be abused and anybody can ignore the warning FOLLOW AS DIRECTED with any drug. It is hard to fathom that Darvon is the only drug with all these issues, what about Vicodin, Oxicodone (sp) and other powerful narcotics. So I feel Darvon is getting a bad rep and is being singled out. Also I have been using Darvocett for pain through my Pain MGMT Dr for years. I have osteoarthritus and nothing work but the Darvocett, if that is banned I'm not only one who will suffer, not mention withdrawal.

Anonymous User
Posted by Bernice
Saturday, February 21, 2009 12:24 AM EST

Darvon is a dangerous pain drug that has very few positive benefits compared to the risks involved in taking it. It basically does very little when tested against other more effective, less harmful pain relievers. Read the 'Public Citizen' report. If someone has been taking it for years they may want to try something newer and more effective, without the bad side effects.

Anonymous User
Posted by Dr Ulf Jonasson
Monday, February 23, 2009 11:32 AM EST

We - Drs Ulf and Birgitta Jonasson from Sweden - have studied the substance Propxyphene - Darvon and Darvocet - since 1994 and we think these drugs are the worst drugs ever. If you want to know more, please visit;

Darvon, Distalgesic, Co-Proxamol - the worst drugs ever


Anonymous User
Posted by Shirley
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:26 PM EST

Like Valerie, I have taken a very low dose of Darvocet for 8 years to keep the pain from a complete back fusion under control. It is the only drug that my body will tolerate - I have tried EVERYTHING else out there. The side effects of the so called newer and more effective drugs are horrible - I have none from Darvocet. If it disappears there are no other options available for me.

Comments for this article are closed.

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