Darvocet, which is propoxyphene combined with acetaminophen, is a medication used to relieve pain. In November of 2010, the drug was removed from the United States market due to cardiovascular side effects; however, it is still used in other countries.

Before Using Darvocet

Darvocet should never be shared and should only be taken by the patient it was ordered for. This is because the medication can lead to addiction, particularly when used by someone with previous drug or alcohol abuse.

Darvocet is not recommended for people who are allergic to medication containing propoxyphene or acetaminophen. Also, do not use the drug if you've taken any of the following medications within the last 14 days: selegiline, rasagiline, tranylcypromine, phenelzine, furazolidone, and isocarboxazid.

Tell your doctor of any health problems you've experienced so that he can better determine whether Darvocet is safe for you. Health conditions that should especially be mentioned include;

  • Respiratory Issues (bronchitis, asthma, sleep apnea, etc.)
  • Renal or Liver Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Psychological Issues
  • Gallbladder or Pancreas Disease
  • Previous or Current Alcohol/Drug Addiction

Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to have a baby, as Darvocet can cause respiratory issues and signs of addiction in newborns. Darvocet is also not recommended while breastfeeding because it can be transferred through breast milk.

Dosage and Administration

Darvocet should always be taken as directed by your doctor. Taking the drug for longer periods or in bigger quantities can lead to serious health issues or an overdose. Make sure that you are familiar with the strength of Darvocet prescribed in case you're accidentally given a different dosage.

Darvocet can also cause withdrawal symptoms, so it is not recommended to stop the medication suddenly. Ask your doctor which is the best way to stop using the drug.

What if I forget a dose?

If you are using Darvocet on a regular basis and miss a dose, take it as soon as you realize it. However, if it is close enough to your next dose you can wait until then. Don't take an additional dose to make up for the missed one.


Get immediate medical help if you believe you may have overdosed on Darvocet. An overdose can lead to serious health issues and even be fatal. Darvocet overdose symptoms include but are not limited to; sleepiness, darker urine, yellow skin pigmentation, dilated or constricted pupils, vomiting, disorientation, seizures, decreased heart rate, and slow breathing.

Things to Avoid While Using Darvocet

Avoid activities that require you to be attentive while using Darvocet. For example; driving, operating machinery, exercising, traveling, and walking near traffic. Do not take other medication containing acetaminophen, such as cold meds or over-the-counter pain relievers, without first consulting your doctor. Combining Darvocet with drugs containing acetaminophen can lead to an overdose. Alcohol consumption should also be avoided, as it can increase the risk of side effects from Darvocet.

Side Effects of Darvocet

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: trouble breathing, rash, welts, swelling of the mouth, face, or throat.

Severe side effects to look out for when taking Darvocet include;

  • Slow Respiratory Rate or Heartbeat
  • Pain in the chest.
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Abnormal Behavior or Thoughts
  • Seizures
  • Yellow Skin Pigment
  • Darker Urine

Less severe side effects of Darvocet that you may experience include;

  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Gastrointestinal Problems (nausea, decreased appetite, etc.)
  • Headaches
  • Blurry Vision
  • Mouth Dryness

Drug Interactions

Certain medications such as muscle relaxants, seizure meds, and other drugs that decrease your respiratory rate should not be taken with Darvocet.

For safety reasons, it is important to let your doctor know about all the medications you are taking. It is especially important to tell your doctor if you use:

  • Blood Thinners (aspirin, warfarin, etc.)
  • Birth Control Medication
  • Diuretic Drugs (such as furosemide)
  • Antibiotics (erythromycin, rifampin, clarithromycin, rifapentine, etc.)
  • Antidepressants
  • Antifungal Medication (ketoconazole, fluconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, and more)
  • Barbiturate Drugs
  • Blood Pressure or Heart Meds (propranolol, amiodarone, verapamil, etc.)
  • HIV/AIDS Drugs (nelfinavir, zidovudine, fosamprenavir, ritonavir, etc.)
  • Anti-seizure Drugs (lamotrigine, carbamazepine, phenytoinm, and more)

There are other medications not listed that may cause a drug interaction when used with Darvocet. Let your doctor know of all the drugs you are currently taking including vitamins, herbal products, and supplements. Consult with your physician before starting a new medication.