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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Darvocet N-100

 Isabelle49 - Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:23 pm

As I understand, plans are to remove the drug Darvocet from the market.

Why do physicians persist in prescribing a medication for pain that offers little to no pain relief.

I have a possible C5,C6 nerve root compression, with what is often excruciating pain; I have been prescribed Darvocet by 2 different doctors: an Orthopedist and a Neurosurgeon. Since I received the generic form of the drug, I questioned whether there was any medication contained in the tablet or if it was a placebo. I have filed a complaint with the FDA concerning the prescriptions I received. I am an R.N. trying to continue my work in home health, a large part of which is field visits and am having a very hard time, since the pain I have is particularly bad when driving my car. None of the MD's I've seen suggested that I take time off from work, so I continue on as best as I can. The PT I was sent to said I would be wasting my $$ if I didn't take time off.

Sad to say, I am beginning to feel that I might have to start asking around about pain relief from other docs. I fear calling the neurosurgeon for another pain reliever, since he might think I am just another person trying to get drugs.

Could it be that the increase in number of suicides related to Darvocet were not because the drug causes depression, but because individuals who are in severe pain cannot get relief - I see that clearly, since I have considered "the easy way out". Could it be that the increase in number of deaths attributed to overdoses of this drug is due to individuals taking more than prescribed, hoping to get pain relief. I am considering writing to Congress on this issue, I have alreadly written to the FDA and the company that manufactured the generic I received (funny thing, that company hasn't replied to my email).

Doctors reading this, please don't do your patients wrong by prescribing this worthless drug.

BTW, I had an MRI of my neck this past Saturday and will get results on May 5 - hope I can hang in until then.

I was also placed on carisoprodol for muscle spasms. The first rx had varied to no effects, the second rx from another manufacturer seems to be consistent in the effect I have from the drug. The first rx is from the same manufacturer that the Darvocet is from.

Would love to receive input on this topic. Thanks,

 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun May 17, 2009 9:54 pm

User avatar Hi Isabelle --

It's an enduring mystery why some doctors insist on prescribing older drugs which are either problematic or less-than-effective compared with newer ones. Darvocet was introduced more than 50 years ago and pain medication and management have both advanced a great deal since then. Same holds true for many other classes of drugs, such as beta blockers, and while some of the older ones (inderal for instance) were great in the beginning, because that's all there was. I'm generally amazed now when doctors prescribe this instead of, say, metaprolol. More than 40 years of developing and improving the pharmacopoea yet certain doctors cling to the less-effective (in the case of Darvon/Darvocet) or more noxious (inderal) ones. It's a mystery to me, but I can see no reason why you shouldn't be allowed a change to something more effective, and if your doctor of record won't cooperate then you have every right to a second opinion or simply a change of doctors, most especially to a pain management specialist. There are so many far less noxious and more effective drugs (and other therapies as well) to help manage pain now, it's ridiculous to be consigned to the distant past this way.

There is, by the way, a very big controversy and a strong movement to have Darvocet and Darvon recalled and removed. I don't know whether that will happen or not, because so many drugs that have outlived their usefulness are left on the market as options, but, again, you as the patient are within your rights to expect something that works best for you. You shouldn't have to fear being labelled a drug-seeker either. Most of us know what those people look like from a block away anyhow, and doctors who reflexively react this way to pain issues need to find another line of work (in my humble opinion only, of course).

I hope this is at least supportive if not directly helpful. It's a mystery why some doctors insist on doing this, but you are the first order of concern, so you'll need to take an aggressive role in the management of your pain, and that may mean a change of doctors. No problem there. Good luck to you. Please follow up here with us as needed.
 Isabelle49 - Mon May 18, 2009 11:01 pm


Thanks so much for your reply. Since starting this post I had an epidural steroid injection with no response whatsoever. Also saw a neurologist for EMG/NCS and was + for C5 nerve root compression.

Thankfully, the afternoon post epidural I was in an increased amount of pain and called my neurosurgeon. My call was not returned. On the following Satufday (next day) I decided I had had enough and called the on-call doc, spoke to his PA, who was very nice - told him the only meds I had were Darvocet and they were ordered 1 every 12 hours, which was completely ineffective (I told my neurologist the same about a week before and this fell on deaf ears). The PA told me I could take the Darvocet every 4 hours - I told him I only had 2 left in the rx bottle, he ordered Lortab 7.5, which 1/2 tab works well enough to take the edge off of the pain. I was instructed by the PA to call my neurosurgeon the following Monday to tell them about the pain. I called once in the morning and once in the afternoon, left voice mails both times. My calls were never returned.

I have since complained to administration at the Neuromedical Center and told them that if my calls are not returned it is as if I do not have a doctor at all and requested a change of doctors. This has finally been accomplished and the doctor who accepted me is the one the P.A. was taking call for. There is a God! Am looking forward to meeting the new doc and setting up a plan that will allow me to move in a positive direction. I have never had any chronic health problems and never had to let my coworkers down as I have with this problem. I worked in severe pain for 2-1/2 months and just won't do it anymore. I can't possibly give my patients the care they need and deserve, when I can't even tolerate myself.

I want to be an active grandmother again - my last grandchild is 4 years old and I love being with her, but it has been impossible with the pain. Can't wait to go to the zoo again with her, or even shopping for shoes (she loves shoe shopping - tries on everything in the store).

Again, thanks so much for your reply. Much appreciated.


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