Darvon and Darvocet Deaths Lead FDA Panel to Recommend Recall
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2010: Nearly two years after this recommendation, the FDA announced the recall of Darvocet and Darvon on 11/19/2010, indicating that data now links the medications to a potential risk of heart arrythmias, in addition to other side effects, such as suicide, overdose and death. The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential Darvocet lawsuits and Darvon lawsuits for individuals who may be entitled to compensation for an injury or death.
Last week, an FDA advisory panel voted to recommend that a recall of Darvon and Darvocet be issued due to the risk of death, overdose and addiction, outweighing the eminimal benefits provided by the drugs over other available painkillers.
The drugs were banned in the U.K. in 2005, and the consumer group Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA back in 2006 asking that the drugs be removed from the market. While the FDA is not required to follow the advice of their advisory panel, they usually do.
According to Public Citizen, between 1981 and 1999, there were over 2,110 Darvon or Darvocet deaths reported and the painkillers accounted for 5.6% of all drug deaths during that time.
Darvon and Darvocet both contain propoxyphene, which is used to treat mild to moderate post surgical pain. However, side effects of Darvon could include overdose death, suicide, addiction and other potentially life-threatening problems. In addition, the drugs carry little, if any, benefits over other safer forms of pain medication.
According to testimony before the FDA panel from Sidney Wolfe, M.D., Director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen:
There is little doubt that were propoxyphene (Darvon) and propoxyphene-containing (Darvocet) products to come before these committees today for approval, based on what is now known, they would be rejected because of one of the most unfavorable benefit-to-risk ratios ever seen for a drug. This is not to say that there was insufficient evidence for a ban 30 years ago when we first petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw the approval. But the forceful and successful war then waged by Lilly in opposition to such a ban tended to drown out evidence of minimal benefit and rapidly growing evidence of life-threatening, often lethal harm.
The deaths from Darvocet and Darvon are often caused because the drug is converted into a metabolite that is toxic to the heart and lasts longer in the body, potentially causing cardiac depression. It has also been associated with suicides, intentional and unintentional overdoses.
DARVON AND DARVOCET LAWYERS
The Darvon and Darvocet lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are evaluating the potential for lawsuits on behalf of people who have died as a result of using the painkiller drugs. If a friend or family member have suffered problems which may have been caused by Darvon or Darvocet side effects, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.