Physicians prescribe Darvocet to reduce mild to moderate pain, with or without fever. Darvocet is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth. Darvocet is a combination of propoxyphene, a narcotic pain reliever, and acetaminophen. Propoxyphene works by binding to pain receptors in your brain in a way that changes the way you perceive pain. Acetaminophen is a mild pain reliever and fever reducer that increases the effects of propoxyphene. Acetaminophen blocks the production of prostaglandins, a substance that causes pain.

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Darvocet use may lead to dependency and addiction. Elderly patients should be cautious when taking Darvocet, as older patients may be more sensitive to the effects of Darvocet. Darvocet should not be used by children under the age of 12; safety and effectiveness has not yet been determined for young patients.

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Side effects

Darvocet, even when taken in proper dosages for prescribed purposes, may cause moderate to severe side effects. Moderate side effects include:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea and Vomiting.
  • Vision Problems.

Severe side effects:

  • Severe Allergic Reaction; possibly involving swelling of the face, lips and tongue.
  • Hives and Itching
  • Tight Chest
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Mental Confusion, Hallucinations, Mood Changes
  • Stomach Pain
  • Yellowing of the Eyes or Skin
  • Changes in Vision

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Darvocet works by stimulating your brain's opioid receptors; overstimulation of these receptors may cause seizures, depression of your central nervous and respiratory systems, and can affect your mood and thoughts. Do not take Darvocet if you are allergic to it or are having severe bowel problems. Darvocet can increase your risk of bleeding if taken along with anticoagulants. Do not drink alcohol or take other pain medications with Darvocet, as this increases your risk for serious injury or even death from overdose. There have been numerous cases of accidental and intentional overdoses using propoxyphene alone or in combination with other drugs or alcohol. Death from Darvocet overdose can occur as early as an hour after taking the excessive dose.

If you have been taking large doses or have been on Darvocet a long time, do not suddenly stop taking Darvocet unless directed to do so by your physician, as an abrupt cessation may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings 

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Keep Darvocet in a safe location, where no one else can get to it. Store Darvocet at room temperature, which is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep Darvocet in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture and light. Read More About Storing Darvocet

Drug Interactions

Some people are unable to metabolize Darvocet, making it an ineffective choice for pain relief for these people.

Some drugs may interfere with Darvocet, preventing the medicine from providing pain relief. Do not use Darvocet if you have used MAO inhibitors in the previous two weeks, as Darvocet may react with residual MAO inhibitors in your system. A dangerous drug interaction can occur if you take Darvocet before MAO inhibitors have left your system.

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In the United States, Darvocet is available in tablets with strengths ranging from 30 mg to 650 mg. The usually dosage is one to two tablet every four hours as needed for pain. The dose should be adjusted according to the patient's size, severity of pain and the patient's response to the medication. Darvocet A-500 is 100 mg of propoxyphene napsylate with 500 mg of acetaminophen. Darvocet N-50 contains 50 mg propoxyphene and 350 mg of acetaminophen. Darvocet N-100 contains 100 mg of propoxyphene and 650 mg of acetaminophen.

Since Darvocet is prescribed to be taken on an as-needed basis, people who have used Darvocet for a very short amount of time should be able to miss a dose without any problems. However, Darvocet is highly habit-forming; people who have used this opiate for a long period of time or for recreational purposes may suffer unpleasant withdrawal symptoms soon after missing a dose.

Darvocet overdose is a serious and potentially life-threatening situation. Contact your local emergency room immediately if you suspect that or someone you know has taken an overdose of Darvocet.

Overdose symptoms may include:

  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Blue, Cold, or Clammy Skin
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dilated or pinpoint pupils
  • Confusion
  • Dark Urine or Decreased Urination
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Severe Drowsiness or Dizziness
  • Severe or Persistent Nausea, Vomiting, or Stomach Pain
  • Weakness
  • Yellowing of the Skin or Eyes.
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite

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Slowly decrease your daily intake of Darvocet, whenever possible, to avoid withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms set in quickly and you may have trouble managing them on your own. If you cannot tolerate the withdrawal process through slow dosage reduction, there are many treatment options available, including rapid detox. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Abnormal Skin Sensations; you may feel like something is crawling on you
  • Delusions and Paranoia.
  • Sweating.
  • Tremors.
  • Rapid Heart Beat.
  • Rigid Muscles.
  • Anxiety.
  • Flu-like Symptoms.


There is a high risk for mental and physical dependency and addiction to Darvocet. Using Darvocet as prescribed for long periods of time can cause you to develop a tolerance to the medications, which means you will have to take increasingly larger doses to acquire adequate pain relief. Talk with your doctor if Darvocet no longer controls your pain effectively, as you may be building a tolerance to it.

Taking Darvocet for recreational rather than medicinal purposes can result in a dry mouth, decreased appetite, constipation or diarrhea, urinary problems and increased risk for addiction. Long term abuse can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and even liver toxicity.

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Rapid detox is an effective way to detoxify the body of Darvocet without the extended and acutely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Rapid detox cleanses your body of Darvocet while you are anesthetized and asleep. Other treatment options for Darvocet detoxification are available. Learn More About Darvocet Detoxification Programs

Other, off label uses for this medicine

Darvocet can be used to reduce the physical signs of addiction to other opiates but Darvocet is not effective at reducing mental cravings.

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Miscellaneous information

There is much controversy surrounding Darvocet in the years since it was first approved for use as a pain killer a half century ago. There have been numerous cases of adverse reaction, addiction and overdose associated with Darvocet. Opponents maintain these risks far outweigh the relatively weak pain relief Darvocet provides.

Miscellaneous Information About Darvocet


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