Former patients in Kentucky, and throughout the nation, are concerned due to their history of Darvocet side effects since the prescription medication drug was removed, beginning November 2010, from pharmacies after its use and availability on the market for 50 years. According to reports, Darvon and Darvocet prescription drugs related claims of injuries have the potential to equal fen-phen in terms of litigation or lawsuits scope. The latter was an infamous combination diet drug that was hugely popular among Americans who were trying to lose unwanted pounds, that is, until it was discovered to be harmful and consequently pulled from the market.

The same reaction has now happened with the Darvon medication, known generically as propoxyphene. Darvocet is the combination of acetaminophen and propoxyphene. Both drugs share a long history as to its impact on patients and unwanted side effects. Darvon was originally introduced and prescribed to patients beginning in 1957. Although Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader, first raised a red flag over Darvocet in 1978 and requested that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) either ban the drug outright or tighten restrictions on its use due to cited research that identified the potential for heart risk, it was not until November of last year that the FDA urged the withdrawal of all propoxyphene drugs only after irrefutable evidence from the manufacturer of Darvon and Darvocet, Xanodyne, revealed that propoxyphene was harmful to the heart - even in healthy people.

To that end, Kristine Esposito, the plaintiff named in one of the first lawsuits filed, was 31-years old when she suffered a potentially life-threatening arrhythmic cardiac event. Esposito had been taking Darvocet for about a week to combat abdominal pain; and prior to that episode was healthy with no pre-existing heart ailments. Studies have shown that even when the drug is taken at prescribed levels, a metabolite of propoxyphene called norpropoxyphene causes an irregular heartbeat. The condition, called QT prolongation, is commonly associated with arrhythmia. The difference is that arrhythmia patients are already under surveillance by a cardiologist, whereas an otherwise healthy patient who is simply prescribed Darvon or Darvocet for pain is not under a cardiologist's surveillance.

There is even some dispute reported as to the efficacy and effectiveness of Darvon and Darvocet when compared to taking a more common over-the-counter (OTC) medication for pain. And although it took the FDA years to finally ask for a ban on propoxyphene after similar market withdrawals in other countries, some pharmacists and formularies appear to have caught on a long time ago. For example, on January 5th, The Springfield News-Leader reported that the Skaggs Community Health Center pharmacy ceased stocking Darvon and Darvocet for hospital patients in 2007.

According to Bob Campbell, the pharmacy director, the reports have been out there for a long time that Darvon and Darvocet have not been real effective in treating pain and there were side effects. "We just felt it was time to pull it off our formulary," Campbell said. The same reasoning was what caused the Family Pharmacy chain to pull the drugs off their shelves, that is, the company stopped recommending propoxyphene for nursing home patients with whom Family Pharmacy worked due to the Darvon and Darvocet side effects that the drugs were having on elderly patients. According to Lynn Morris, the president and owner of the chain: "We took [propoxyphene] out of all the emergency boxes at our nursing homes several years ago."

Reportedly, the drug company Eli Lilly originally brought the drug to market, then sold propoxyphene to AAI Pharmaceuticals in 2002. When AAI faced bankruptcy in 2005, it was sold to Xanodyne. A Darvocet lawsuit would likely also name Eli Lilly as a defendant, as well as the manufacturers of generic propoxyphene. It has been reported that attorneys have petitioned the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) panel to consolidate cases in either New York or Louisiana. The Esposito lawsuit was filed late in 2010 in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Arguments for an MDL are expected as early as March 2011. One of the judges proposed for potential MDL consolidation is the Honorable Jack E. Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York, who is currently presiding over the Esposito case. The manufacturers of propoxyphene have countered by supporting Judge Danny C. Reeves, who presides over the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Darvon and Darvocet, is headquartered in the City of Newport, Commonwealth of Kentucky. If you or a loved one may have suffered injuries or losses due to the use of prescription medication drugs commonly known as Darvon or Darvocet, then you should contact our team of experienced prescription drugs and medical injury lawyers immediately for legal help with your Darvocet questions or claims relating to this very dangerous product.

Gray and White Law has helped many Kentucky families whose loved ones suffered injuries as a result of defective products, including recalled prescription medicine or defective medication drugs. For decades, our class action attorneys have successfully obtained millions of dollars on behalf of clients and members of class action lawsuits, locally in Louisville and in the Commonwealth, and throughout the nation. We are Kentucky darvocet lawyers who are ready to learn about your Darvon or Darvocet experience, side effects, injuries, or claims, and eager to address any questions or concerns you might have. Simply take a moment to contact us for your free legal consultation (24/7) either by confidential e-mail or toll-free call at 1-888-450-4456.
Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law
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