Digital News Report – Law firms are looking into potential lawsuits involving the popular painkiller Darvocent and Darvon. The drugs have been used since 1957 to treat minor pain but are now associated with the death of thousands of people.
One lawfirm, Davis and Crump, calls the drug a “dangerous medication.” They are investigating potential Darvon/Darvocet lawsuits on behalf of anyone who suffered a heart injury while using this drug, according to TV commercials and a written statement.
Darvocet/Darvon (aka Dextropropoxyphene) was initially marketed by Eli Lilly & Company, but is now sold by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. It was commonly prescribed for mild pain, but users risked serious side effects. Besides pain, it may have been prescribed for restless legs syndrome.
There is a risk of overdose and liver toxicity, but the FDA took action after patients experienced heart arrhythmias that could be fatal. The drug may have also been used to aid in opioid withdrawal.
Although still prescribed in Australia, it has been banned in other countries. In February 2010, it was withdrawn from the market in New Zealand. In 2007 the UK regulator took action against the drug. The European Union and Sweden have also considered banning the drug.
U.S. regulators became increasingly concerned in 2006 when the consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, recommended a ban. They said since it was a relatively weak pain killer, the side effects were not worth the risk. Between 1981 and 1999 there were 2,110 deaths associated with the drug.
In November of 2010, the FDA recommended removing Dextropropoxphene from the market. Since then, many doctors began prescribing tramadol.
The most serious side effect was heart arrhythmia (cardiac dysrhythmia). Either the heart beat too fast, too slow or was just irregular. This is a very serious condition and can result in cardiac arrest and sudden death.
Since 1957 millions of prescriptions were written. The FDA estimates that in 2009 alone, 10 million people used the drug, mostly Darvocet.
By Jason Chang