October 31, 2023

Among the most addictive and dangerous prescription synthetic opioids of the recent past, Darvocet and Darvon came with many health risks – even for those who were using them as directed. 

Dangerous changes in heart rhythms, an increased risk of seizures, and a high addiction potential caused the drugs to be banned, though these painkillers are still illegally produced and sold on the street. 

This article will help to educate you on the side effects that someone with a Darvocet addiction may experience, as well as what the detoxification and treatment process will look like.

What is Darvocet (Darvon) and why is it addictive?

Both Darvocet and Darvon are narcotic drugs made with propoxyphene, a drug that relieves pain by acting on the opioid receptors in the brain, but can also cause sedation and respiratory depression. Due to the similarities in ingredients, side effects, and addiction potentials, it is most effective to talk about both medications at once. 

The main difference between these two drugs is that Darvocet contains the fever reducing analgesic acetaminophen in addition to propoxyphene. The purpose of this is to increase the pain reducing effects.

Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed substances with propoxyphene from the market in 2010, Darvocet and Darvon were prescribed to relieve mild to moderate pain. These narcotic painkillers were banned in the UK, Europe, and America due to the health risks they posed and their very dangerous addiction potential.

Darvocet and Darvon were prescribed as pain relievers until being banned due to major health risks

These synthetic opioid propoxyphene-based drugs have a high addiction potential due to their effect on the central nervous system. Along with pain relief, one of the sought-after effects of Darvocet and Darvon is the feeling of euphoria. 

Unfortunately, when you combine the habit-forming nature of propoxyphene with the positive effects of pain relief and euphoria, the addiction potential is disastrously high. 

How does Darvocet and Darvon addiction start?

In many cases of prescription painkiller addiction, abuse begins when people take more of the drug than prescribed, causing a dependence to form. This is also the case for Darvocet and Darvon, though due to the presence of the habit-forming ingredient propoxyphene, these drugs have a high addiction potential even when taken exactly as directed. 

The user’s body becomes dependent on the drug and relies on it for pain relief and the euphoric release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Once a dependence forms, the user may feel the need to increase their dosage or take the medication more frequently. This is when drug dependence has the potential to turn into abuse and addiction. 

As Darvocet and Darvon are no longer approved for clinical use, those who abuse these drugs may search out similar prescription medications or get them illegally under the names: footballs, pinks, and 65s.

The symptoms and signs of Darvocet and Darvon addiction

Darvocet and Darvon addicts may experience many uncomfortable symptoms


According to the FDA, a Darvocet of Darvon user may experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sleepy 
  • Feeling of elation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues
  • Hallucinations
  • Blurred vision

Behavioral Signs

An addict may go through changes in behavior or act in otherwise unusual ways. Being familiar with these behavioral signs can help people better understand the state of their loved ones or even help a Darvocet or Darvon user realize they have an addiction:

  1. Disregarding work, school, or household responsibilities.
  2. Hiding drug use from loved ones.
  3. Rationalizing repeated use despite a negative effect on quality of life.
  4. Being unable to stop consuming even after several attempts.
  5. Doing anything to attain more of the drug.
  6. Exhibiting a strong craving for the drug.
  7. Sudden and uncharacteristic mood changes.
  8. Excessive sleeping.

Get a free online consultation to learn how to manage these symptoms for you or your loved one >>>

Short and long term effects of Darvocet/Darvon addiction

The short term effects of Darvocet abuse can look very similar to the common symptoms of normal Darvocet and Darvon consumption, but may be more serious in terms of risk.

In cases of prolonged Darvocet or Darvon abuse and addiction, the side effects can be more severe, and in some cases life-threatening. 

Short term side effects

The short term effects of abusing these drugs include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Extended periods of sleep
  • Feeling calm, relaxed, or euphoric
  • Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Delusions of grandeur and hallucinations
  • Blurred vision and headaches
  • Sudden and uncharacteristic mood changes and frenzied behavior

Long term side effects

In the case of long term Darvocet abuse, one could experience the following: 

  • The appearance or worsening of depression or suicidal ideation
  • Jaundice (yellow tint of the skin) – a sign of liver problems
  • Frequent headaches
  • Frequent drowsiness or dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • An irregular heart rate or chest pains

Fatal Side Effects

In the event of an overdose or an interaction of Darvocet or Darvon with other “downers” such as alcohol and other narcotics or opioids, the following life-threatening side effects may occur:

  • Seizures
  • Respiratory failure
  • Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment for Darvocet and Darvon addiction

The health risks that come along with Darvocet and Darvon addiction can be debilitating and even deadly. As is the case when getting off of any narcotic drug, including opioids, the symptoms of withdrawal can be uncomfortable, painful, and can cause relapse or serious medical complications. 

Purifying the body from substances and overcoming the withdrawal symptoms, also called detoxification, is a necessary process for those trying to overcome addiction. The safest place to undergo this process is under the eyes of medical professionals in a facility where the patient can be monitored and given medication to help with withdrawal symptoms as needed.

Detoxification is actually the second step of a three-part treatment process that includes: diagnostic tests (used to determine the degree of addiction and its physical and psychological effects), detoxification, and evaluation/rehabilitation. 

Patients are supervised during detoxification procedures to ensure their safety

How can you get started with treatment?

Going through this process with the care and supervision of a medical professional will help you avoid relapse and get through detoxification safely.

If you want to find out more about getting rid of your addiction and avoiding relapse, get a free and confidential online consultation to discuss treatment options and the various outcomes with an expert of the clinic >>> 

You can expect to go over the following topics:

  1. How addiction will be treated in your case?
  2. Will the treatment help to stop the urges and prevent relapse?
  3. How much does the program cost and how long does it take?

The dangers of Darvocet and Darvon addiction are real. The longer you wait, the higher the risk becomes. Get help breaking your addiction today, and start living your own life again.

Published on October 31, 2023

by Dr Vorobjev Clinic team

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