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Propoxyphene Addiction & Withdrawal Treatment

Pain is real and must be treated. But the U.S. has a history of people becoming addicted to prescription drugs. We’re in the midst of a devastating opioid epidemic. Pain drugs prescribed for chronic pain can lead to substance abuse or other side effects. Even short-term use of a pain reliever can cause problems.

Propoxyphene is an example of a medication found to be potentially harmful. It’s a generic drug found in pain reliever medicine. It is a key ingredient in the narcotic brand name drugs Darvon and Darvocet. For some, Darvocet abuse can lead to addiction.

Darvon and Darvocet are used to treat mild to moderate pain. They are not as powerful as opioids such as hydrocodone, morphine or codeine. Darvocet, which has acetaminophen, was often prescribed for migraines. Headache sufferers were at risk for drug dependency or prescription drug addiction.

Propoxyphene is a medicinal opioid but some people used it to excess. Propoxyphene binds to receptors in the central nervous system. It activates opiate receptors such as endorphins and enkephalins. Overuse of opioid drugs has effects beyond pain relief. It can create feelings of euphoria.

Continued use can lead to the need for propoxyphene addiction treatment. Propoxyphene has other serious side effects. It can cause heart failure and heart attack. The FDA took it off the market in the United States in 2010. Unfortunately, this did not stop people from accessing it as an illicit drug. They get opioid drugs from other countries or on the black market.

Long-Term Effects of Propoxyphene Use

When a person continues to use propoxyphene, the body develops a tolerance. Increasing amounts of propoxyphene are needed to produce the same effects. This is true for therapeutic benefits as well. Other damaging effects may include:

  • These opioid drugs are habit-forming and can lead to physical dependence.
  • The brain slows or even stops endorphin production. This results in acute pain without propoxyphene use.
  • Propoxyphene is almost always bound to acetaminophen so long-term use is damaging. Effects may include liver problems, stomach cramps, nausea and chronic constipation that can lead to colon rupture.
  • Propoxyphene withdrawal symptoms may occur rapidly without the drug.

What to Expect in Propoxyphene Addiction Treatment

What happens in prescription drug treatment programs? Darvon and Darvocet addiction is treated like other types of opioid addiction. It will typically require medically monitored drug detox in an addiction treatment center.

Propoxyphene has unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The treatment specialists at Promises can help people through withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Extreme cravings
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

A round-the-clock medical team makes sure this period is safe. And they make you as comfortable as possible. We use research-backed medications and alternative approaches to ease propoxyphene withdrawal. Drug rehab includes pain management and comprehensive mental health care.

Following medical drug detox, clients start an opioid addiction treatment program tailored to their unique needs. Treatment options may include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Traditional and alternative therapies
  • Medication, as needed
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare planning

Our goal is to find the approaches that best support our clients’ long-term recovery.

The History of Propoxyphene

The drug was introduced around 1957 as a prescription opiate. Medications that were made with propoxyphene include Darvocet, Darvin, Darvon and Darvon-N.

By the 1970s, advocates were trying to get the drug removed from the United States market due to its dangers. There were warning signs that it could lead to heart failure and liver damage. It could also lead to addiction and overdose. The FDA finally took propoxyphene off the market because:

  • It can cause cardiac arrests and heart attacks.
  • It was a narcotic and thus habit-forming.
  • It was deemed be less effective and more addictive than other similar medications on the market.
  • As an analgesic, it alters the way the human brain reacts to pain without anesthetic effects.
  • By prescription, it was in pill form. But people were snorting it in crushed form, or dissolving it in water and injecting it.
  • Because propoxyphene was discontinued in the U.S., people can only get this drug illegally. This puts them in danger for receiving supplies mixed with dangerous ingredients.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with propoxyphene addiction, we can help. Call our recovery advisors today for a free, confidential consultation. We are here to answer all your questions about rehab. The staff at our drug rehab center can help you take back your life.

To learn more about Propoxyphene Addiction & Withdrawal Treatment, call 844-876-5568

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 13, 2019

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