Should Darvon be withdrawn? The implications of banning propoxyphene

The FDA advisory committee voted to ban Darvon, generically known as propoxyphene, in the United States.

MedPage Today reports on the 14-12 vote, which was prompted by numerous fatal overdoses, and non-fatal complications, as well as questioning its efficacy.

Anti-pharmaceutical crusader Sidney Wolfe made his presence felt, as he presented data claiming that in 2007, according to data gathered from emergency departments, “503 deaths were ‘related’ to propoxyphene.”

Dr. Wes contrasts these numbers to Tylenol (acetaminophen), saying it was responsible for “more than 56,000 emergency room visits and an estimated 458 deaths from acute liver failure in 2003.”

Does that mean that Tylenol should be withdrawn as well?

Will patients, some of whom chronically require Darvon for pain relief, be the real losers of the FDA advisory committee’s decision?


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