What can work in place of Darvocet?

9 answers | Last updated: Jul 17, 2017
Permaglo18 asked...

I was taking Darvocet for lower back pain and was helping, but now the FDA discontinued this drug. Has anyone found another pain reliever which is similar to Darvocet?

Expert Answers

Pharmacist William Simonson, also known as "Dr. Si", is a board-certified geriatric pharmacist who is dedicated to improving medication use by seniors. He is a pharmacy educator and is active in publishing and presenting to health professional and consumer audiences and has been active in the area of geriatrics and long-term care pharmacy practice for more than 35 years.

As you have found out, the prescription drug "propoxyphene" was withdrawn from the market "“ it happened in November, 2010. See the following link for more information from the [United States Food and Drug Administration]: (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugSafetyPodcasts/ucm234455.htm)

Propoxyphene has been available as prescription medicine in the United States for more than 50 years. Effective marketing made it a blockbuster drug that was eventually produced in a number of different versions including "Darvocet-N100®" which is a combination of 100 mg. of propoxyphene (as the napsylate version) and 650mg. of the pain reliever acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol.)

Propoxyphene has been frequently prescribed in spite of scientific evidence that it was only a weak pain reliever at best. As doctors and other healthcare professionals gained experience with this drug it became apparent that that it could cause significant adverse side effects similar to those caused by other opiate (narcotic) drugs including dizziness, light headedness, headache, visual problems and sedation to name a few.

The FDA's recent decision to prohibit the continued sale of propoxyphene was based on their findings that it can cause serious abnormalities of heart rhythm. As in your case consumers who had been taking medications containing propoxphene are now forced to find an alternative pain reliever.

My first suggestion is simple. Try taking acetaminophen all by itself. Some scientific studies actually showed that the combination drug Darvocet was no more effective than acetaminophen alone. Acetaminophen can be very effective as a pain reliever but be aware that precautions exist that acetaminophen dosage should not exceed 4,000 mg. per day. Excessive doses may cause serious liver damage including fatality.

Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, other medications including non-prescription anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin® could be another option. And, there are a number of different prescription pain relievers that your doctor could prescribe.

As with all medications check with your health care providers to see if there are any reasons why you should not take acetaminophen or other pain relievers.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

banned drug after one and only one study per fda govt page..which is nuts...this might have helped 00.001 % of folks.. while millions suffer at the stupid fda decision... every nurse and dr. i talked to said this was a bad move..

Mem, in georgia answered...

I ABSOLUTELY agree with anonymous. I took Darvocet for at least 20 years and NEVER had the first adverse reaction. Maybe it"s psychological al but Tylenol alone DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME REACTION TO PAIN ALONE AS DID TYLENOL. I had no pain when I took Darvocet. I have been suffering from low back pain since it was banned.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I also agree with the above 2 other statements. One study & then pull it after 50 years? Tylenol isn't the same so they now prescribe vicoden. So, let's get more people dependent on vicodin because Darvocet was causing bad side affects, hmm.. Sounds to me like some politics took a role in there somewhere. Now the U.S. has a bigger then ever drug dependence problem, far more than in 2010 when they decided to pull Darvocet off the market.. Besides, not everybody can take vicodin without getting sick. NI documentation of that happening with Darvocet ..

Lora2000 answered...

I agree with the pro darvacet (propoxyphene) comments. I have been looking for years for something similar to Darvocet and I have not found it yet. I really think the reason Darvocet was banned by the FDA is because it was not a profitable drug anymore so they stopped making it no matter how many people it helped. Seems like a little pharmaceutical/ FDA liaison action to me. I had to switch to Percocets which I am allergic to and get a rash. Now The CDC is chiming in & pushing doctors to take their patients off long term opiates so I have to find another alternative and probably will suffer through withdrawals as I've been taking then for over 6 yrs. I will update with any information I find as I have no choice but to find something, hopefully similar to Darvocet

Lora2000 answered...

I can say I have been taking Ginger 500 mg, Bromelain 500 mg, tumeric 500 mg and helps for inflammation. (Bromelain is natural pineapple enzyme but it does thin blood like an aspirin) And for Muscle Recovery - sports Powders that seems to help my Always tight muscles, I have been taking glutamine powder and amino recovery powder. I hope this helps a little

Lora2000 answered...

This is my protein shake I drink in the morning that really helps my pain. maybe it will for you too. I blend together coconut milk, Chocolate syrup,Vanilla yogurt, Egg protein, vegetable protein, soy protein, Super greens powder, Amino recovery powder, glutamine powder, ginger, Bromelain, turmeric, glucosamine/chondroitin, any probiotic and vitamin. I get anything I can in powder Form or capsules so I can open the capsules and pour the contents in before mixing. Sounds like a lot but it's not really, it doesn't taste so bad. The less pain benefits make it worth it

Tann answered...

Kidney transplant and many abdominal hernia repairs since, always recovered quickly when given Darvocet and always had left over pills. I liked it because I never threw up when taking it and it had very little side effects, it's was the perfect pain pill for recovery. Then in 2011, when I had my dlb nephrectomy I found since it was taken off the market, and they tried other oral opieates and unfortunately I could not tolerate them and couldn't keep them down, so I recovered on NOTHING and felt bad for a long time...Same thing happened in 2015 when I had extensive reconstruction abdominal surgery with many complications and was in the hospital for 2 weeks. Once they disconnected the iv of Delauded I once again tried oral pain pills...no go, I again had to recover with no pain meds. Darvecet needs to be brought back as a triplicate prescription if they are soooo worried about addiction. It was the only opiate, I could take with out all the others making me want to throw up and with abdomial surgery, who wants to do that? NO Good Opiates; Vicodin, Tylenol 3, Oxycondon, and Tramadol...never again.

Fms is killing me! answered...

It is so sad that I read these same opinions everywhere I go to try to find something to take before I try to end my own life... I and 100's of thousand others suffer from SEVERE Fibromyalgia. I have taken everything previously prescribed meds and the haha new Lyrica, Gabapentin, and Sevila... The only med that ever worked was Darvocet... No one ever knew I had FMS until 2010 after they took it off the market.. I lead an almost normal life back then.. The side effects were NONE.. Now I am home almost bed bound with pain. I almost died and killed others on Gabapentin due to the horrible almost hucciliational side effects. They take the greatest drug ever off the market and guess what... One study takes it away well we all know it is a $$$ thing. It wasn't making the drug companies any $ because it had been on the market for 50 years and was cheap to get... We see all of the drugs now are causing overdoses and herione additions. Well so now let everyone with SEVERE CHRONIC PAIN be the ones that try to find a Kirviorkian to do them in.... Or do it theirs selves.. But we will not hear about that will we?? NO.. because it would be the DEA's fault!! I have suffered more from FMS than I ever did with Breast Cancer treatments and surgery.. How sad of a state we now live in and are forced to endure... We are no longer a democracy are we?? We need to make noise to bring the Darvocet back.. All of my doctors agree with all of us on this and the other forums I have read... They even want it back but without making noise we will just start disappearing!! Good Luck to us all and God Please Have Mercy on US who suffer so much with pain!