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SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 19, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., which makes Darvon and Darvocet, the brand version of the prescription pain medication propoxyphene, has agreed to withdraw the medication from the U.S. market at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has also informed generic manufacturers of Xanodyne's decision and they will be removing their propoxyphene-containing products from the market as well.

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The FDA sought market withdrawal of propoxyphene after receiving new clinical data showing that the drug puts patients at risk of potentially serious or even fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. As a result of these data, combined with other information, including new epidemiological data, the agency concluded that the risks of the medication outweigh the benefits.  

"FDA is pleased by Xanodyne's decision to voluntarily remove its products from the U.S. market," said John Jenkins, M.D., director of the Office of New Drugs in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). "These new heart data significantly alter propoxyphene's risk-benefit profile. The drug's effectiveness in reducing pain is no longer enough to outweigh the drug's serious potential heart risks."

The FDA is advising health care professionals to stop prescribing propoxyphene to their patients, and patients who are currently taking the drug should contact their health care professional as soon as possible to discuss switching to another pain management therapy.

Propoxyphene is an opioid used to treat mild to moderate pain. First approved by the FDA in 1957, propoxyphene is sold by prescription under various names both alone (e.g., Darvon) or in combination with acetaminophen (e.g., Darvocet).

Since 1978, the FDA has received two requests to remo

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