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Harmful Side-Effects Prompt Darvocet Lawsuits

The medical warnings listed on a container of Darvocet sound not much different from most prescription pain relievers. There are warnings about possible side effects, including drowsiness, and several other possible interactions. While not to be scoffed at, these warnings do not list possible death from heart failure. That consequence, however, is what prompted an FDA recall in 2010, and formed the basis of ongoing Darvocet lawsuits.

Like many prescription drugs, it had been marketed originally under the premise that it was non-addicting and safe. Darvon itself is known as a combination analgesic, which joins acetaminophen, a popular over-the-counter pain reliever, with Darvon, containing the active ingredient propoxyphene. Considered a safe medication for those suffering from mild to moderate post-surgical pain, it was first prescribed to the public in 1957.

Over time it became one the world’s most prescribed pain relievers, and doctors recommended it to more than 22 million people. While generally effective, it can be addictive for some users. That possibility, however, is not as serious as the deadly side effects experienced by thousands. Pain medications containing some form of propoxyphene accounted for nearly 5% of all drug-related deaths between 1987 and 2006.

Unfortunately, the possibility of fatal interactions or effects, including possible suicide or overdose, were known about years before the actual recall took place. The UK discontinued prescribing the drug after investigations pointed out deadly heart rhythm abnormalities in those regularly using it. In the United States, however, doctors continued to prescribe it for another five years, even after the reports of problems had been presented.

In 2007, however, the Food and Drug Administration was given the authority to request a series of new clinical trials to pinpoint the exact risks of taking taking the painkiller. Findings indicated that the possible side effects were too great to justify using it any longer. Side-effects were often linked to cardiac depression, the interruption of electrical impulses to the heart, and a greatly slowed heartbeat and failure of the heart to contract properly.

These findings have affected nearly 10 million people in the United States taking some form of propoxyphene. It has prompted many of them to take legal action against the manufacturer due to financial loss, physical pain, emotional suffering caused by severe reactions, or even the death of a loved one. It is likely that a large number of lawsuits may be filed against the manufacturer.

Individuals who may have been damaged in some way by this medication should follow the progress of these actions. The results may affect them personally. While there is nothing that can actually reverse the damage already done, those who continue to suffer the effects may be entitled to monetary or non-monetary damage awards. Some people may decide to file their own Darvocet lawsuits in order to be fairly compensated.

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