Darvon to carry stronger warning
As the Food and Drug Administration has become more active under President Obama, new issues have arisen, almost weekly, regarding the use and mis-use of various pain medications. Last week, a panel of the FDA recommended that percocet and vicodin be managed differently, in order to guard against liver damage potentially resulting form over-use of the medications.
The panel expressed concern that the active ingredients in these medications, oxyodone and acetaminophen in Percocet and hydrocodone and acetaminophen in Vicodin, should be administered separately in order to track acetaminophen exposure. The panel also recommended that a single standard dosage regimen be established for children. Many phyisicians have expressed concern over changes with respect to Percocet and Vicodin because they are so widely used, so effective and so convenient. Vicodin is the most widely presrcribed pain killer in the U.S., with 120 million prescriptions written, according to the Washington Post.
This week, the FDA demanded stricter labeling of drugs containing propoxyphene, a mild opioid painkiller that the European Union has decided to phase out of use entirely. The trade name for the most common of these drugs is Darvon and when combined with acetaminophen, it is sold as Darvocet. Previously an expert panel appointed by the FDA had recommended that the U.S. also phase out the medication. 91 deaths have been attributed to its use, although experts believe this represents only a fraction of the total deaths it has caused. Death is often attributable to a fatal arrhythmia.