ALERT: FDA Pulls Common Pain Med Off The Market - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

ALERT: FDA Pulls Common Pain Med Off The Market

Posted: Updated:

Washington (CNN) -- The pharmaceutical company that makes the prescription pain medications Darvon and Darvocet has agreed to withdraw the drugs from the U.S. market at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA said Friday.

The FDA says the drug, propoxyphene, puts patients at risk of potentially serious or fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. Since 2009, 10 million people have been prescribed some form of the drug.

"We recommend to physicians stop prescribing the drugs. As for patients, do not stop taking it, but we urge you to contact your health care professional. Do not delay," said Gerald Dal Pan, director of the FDA's Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology.

Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. manufactures Darvon and Darvocet, two brand name versions of propoxyphene. The FDA also asked generic makers of the pain medicine to voluntarily remove their products.

The decision to remove the drug came after the FDA reviewed a new trial study that looked at the drug's impact on heart rhythms.

"The drug's effectiveness in reducing pain is no longer enough to outweigh the drug's serious potential heart risks," the FDA said in a statement released Friday.

Propoxyphene, first approved by the FDA in 1957, is an opioid used to treat mild to moderate pain. It is sold under various names both alone, such as Darvon, or in combination with acetaminophen, such as Darvocet.

Since 1978, the FDA has received two requests to remove propoxyphene from the market, but concluded that the benefits of propoxyphene for pain relief at recommended doses outweighed the safety risks.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
  • BACK TO SCHOOL: See where your school ranks in performance

    BACK TO SCHOOL: See where your school ranks in performance

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:53:53 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two schools in the Spokane area received top rankings based on a new assessment, according to the Washington Policy Center. Using assessments based on a study by the Washington State Board of Education, the Washington Policy Center ranked schools on an "A to F-" scale, with 14 percent of schools in in and around Spokane finishing with A's or B's.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two schools in the Spokane area received top rankings based on a new assessment, according to the Washington Policy Center. Using assessments based on a study by the Washington State Board of Education, the Washington Policy Center ranked schools on an "A to F-" scale, with 14 percent of schools in in and around Spokane finishing with A's or B's.>>
  • Cause determined in Eloika Lake brush fire

    Cause determined in Eloika Lake brush fire

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:20 AM EDT2014-08-28 14:20:59 GMT
    DEER PARK, Wash. - Firefighters from multiple agencies are responded to a brush fire north of Deer Park near Eloika Lake on Wednesday.>>
    DEER PARK, Wash. - Firefighters from multiple agencies are responded to a brush fire north of Deer Park near Eloika Lake on Wednesday. A Fire Captain with Spokane County Fire District #4 told KHQ as of 6:00pm, the fire is about 20 acres in size and crews were trying to get a line around the wind driven fire. Structures have burned, though firefighters don't know exactly how many.>>