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What is Propoxyphene

Propoxyphene is in a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics. It relieves pain.

Propoxyphene is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain.

Propoxyphene may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Propoxyphene

Do not stop taking Propoxyphene suddenly if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and make you very uncomfortable. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose.

Do not take Propoxyphene if you suffer from depression or have suicidal thoughts.

Propoxyphene will cause drowsiness and fatigue. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, antihistamines, sedatives, and tranquilizers except under the supervision of your doctor. These may also make you drowsy.

Propoxyphene will also cause constipation. Drink plenty of water (six to eight full glasses a day) to lessen this side effect. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can also help to alleviate constipation.

Never take more Propoxyphene than is prescribed for you. If your pain is not being adequately treated, talk to your doctor.

Who should not take Propoxyphene

Propoxyphene is habit forming and should only be used under close supervision if you have an alcohol or drug addiction.

Propoxyphene should not be taken if you suffer from depression or have suicidal thoughts.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- asthma;
- urinary retention;
- an enlarged prostate;
- hypothyroidism;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- gallbladder disease;
- a head injury; or
- Addison's disease.

You may not be able to take Propoxyphene, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Propoxyphene may cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms as well as other harmful effects in an unborn baby. Do not take Propoxyphene without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Propoxyphene may also cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a nursing baby. Do not take Propoxyphene without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Children younger than 12 years of age should not take Propoxyphene.

If you are older than 60 years you may be more likely to experience side effects from Propoxyphene therapy. Use extra caution.

How should take Propoxyphene

Take Propoxyphene exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take Propoxyphene with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.

Never take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Too much Propoxyphene could be very harmful. The maximum amount of Propoxyphene that can be taken safely in one day is 390 mg (6 Darvon capsules). Do not exceed this amount.

Do not stop taking Propoxyphene suddenly if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and make you feel uncomfortable. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose.

Increase the amount of fiber and water (six to eight full glasses daily) in your diet to prevent constipation.

Do not share this medication with anyone else.

Store Propoxyphene at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take a double dose of this medication. Wait the prescribed amount of time before taking your next dose.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Propoxyphene overdose include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, and small pupils.

Avoid while taking Propoxyphene

Avoid alcohol while taking Propoxyphene. Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by Propoxyphene and could be dangerous.

Also avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines except under the supervision of your doctor. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Propoxyphene may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Possible side effects of Propoxyphene

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Propoxyphene and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- slow, weak breathing;
- seizures;
- cold, clammy skin;
- unconsciousness; or
- severe weakness or dizziness.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Propoxyphene and talk to your doctor if you experience
- constipation;
- dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;
- dizziness, tiredness, or lightheadedness;
- muscle twitches;
- sweating;
- itching;
- decreased urination; or
- decreased sex drive.

Propoxyphene is habit forming. Do not stop taking it suddenly.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Propoxyphene

Propoxyphene may increase the effects of oral anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin), which could lead to bleeding. It may also increase the effects of carbamazepine (Tegretol), which could lead to dangerous side effects. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking either of these medications.

Do not take Propoxyphene if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. Dangerous side effects could result.

The most serious interactions affecting Propoxyphene are with those drugs that also cause sedation. The following drugs may lead to dangerous sedation if taken with Propoxyphene:
- antihistamines such as brompheniramine (Dimetane, Bromfed, others), diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Nytol, Compoz, others), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton, Teldrin, others), and others;
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and doxepin (Sinequan), and serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil);
- other commonly used antidepressants, including amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and protriptyline (Vivactil);
- anticholinergics such as belladonna (Donnatal), clidinium (Quarzan), dicyclomine (Bentyl, Antispas), hyoscyamine (Levsin, Anaspaz), ipratropium (Atrovent), propantheline (Pro-Banthine), and scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
- phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), thioridazine (Mellaril), and prochlorperazine (Compazine); and
- tranquilizers and sedatives such as phenobarbital (Solfoton, Luminal), amobarbital (Amytal), secobarbital (Seconal), alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), flurazepam (Prosom), and temazepam (Restoril).

Do not take any of the drugs listed above without the approval of your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Propoxyphene. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

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