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More Lawsuits Filed in Darvon and Darvocet Cases

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Memphis, TNNow that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reacted to Darvon and Darvocet side effects, more lawsuits are being filed by people who allege they were harmed by Darvon medication or Darvocet medication. Both Darvocet side effects and Darvon side effects are reportedly serious, allegedly putting patients at risk of serious harm and, in some cases, death.

The widow of a man who died only days before the FDA announced the Darvon and Darvocet recall has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the victim was prescribed the medication on July 30, 2010, to manage his pain. He was on the medication until he died, November 2, 2010, from sudden heart problems. The plaintiff alleges that the distributor, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, knew or should have known about the serious risks associated with the medications—including the risk of potentially fatal heart rhythm issues—but did not adequately warn doctors and patients about those risks.

Although petitions to have Darvon and Darvocet removed from the market began in 1978, it was not until 2010 that the medications were removed. The recall was announced after preliminary results from a study showed that Darvon and Darvocet could cause heart problems in patients who were otherwise healthy. That study, which was conducted by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals at the FDA's request, found that even at normal doses, the medications could cause abnormal heart rhythms.

Darvon first appeared on the market in 1957. In 2009, an FDA panel voted 14 to 12 to recommend that Darvon be removed from the market, finding the drug's benefits did not outweigh its risks. At the time, however, the FDA chose to reject the panel's recommendations.

Darvon is known generically as propoxyphene. Darvocet combines propoxyphene with acetaminophen. The recall affects the brand-name and generic versions of the drugs.

A petition has been filed to have all federal Darvon and Darvocet lawsuits be consolidated in a single federal court. Some attorneys suggest that thousands of lawsuits could be filed against companies that manufactured Darvon, Darvocet and their generic counterparts.


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