FDA pulls Darvon off the market: confirms heart danger

The FDA asked for the discontinuation of the sales of all painkillers containing proxyphene, mostly known under the branded names of Darvon and Darvocet, because of the potential for serious heart problems.

If you are taking any painkiller that contains proxyphene, please contact your doctor to seek their advice.

Please be forewarned that the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it. Talk to your doctor about how to taper off of it, and what else you could do to help manage your pain.

Brand names of proxyphene include but not limited to-

Darvon
Darvon-N
PP-Cap

Brand names that have a of combination of products

Balacet (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvocet A500 (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvocet-N (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvon Compound 32 (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
Darvon Compound-65 (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
PC-CAP (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
Propacet (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Propoxyphene Compound 65 (containing Aspirin, Caffeine, and Propoxyphene)
Wygesic (containing Acetaminophen and Propoxyphene)
Darvocet

Fentanyl Recall

Many chronic pain patients take extended-released medications to help regulate their pain. Similar to once a week birth control pills, extended-released pain medications give chronic pain patients a steady stream of medication without letting them worry about when to take their next dose. After all, it is always easier to manage your pain that it is to subdue it.

I have tried many types of extended-released medication, everything from birth control pills to topical lidocaine patches. Unlike short acting (2-4 hours) medications, extended-released meds can be difficult to tell when they are not working correctly. Hence, why I find this recall very important to tell you about.

This week Actavis Inc. announced a voluntary recall to the wholesale and retail levels only of 18 lots of Fentanyl Transdermal System 25 mcg/hour C-II patches manufactured for Actavis by Corium International in the United States. (via) The company said that they were unaware of any patients who had experienced adverse effects from the products. (via)Reports say that the patches are releasing the medication at a faster rate than intended. Patients treated with a patch that releases fentanyl faster than intended could experience symptoms of opioid overdose, including excessive sedation, respiratory depression, and apnea. (via)

Please read the following for more information:
Actavis Press Release: 21/OCT/2010
Med Page Today

Coming soon to a pharmacy near you: generic pain meds!

In the world of pain management, we have to take the good with the bad. And sometimes with all the treatments we have to make ourselves feel better, the bad part of pain medications out way the good. Their level of toxic-feeling side effects, then the medications we take to lessen those side effects, and of course the price of these medications all add up to their negative points. One insurance company will pay for a medication, where another won’t. When they don’t cover it, you cry at the price. But, it’s always an issue to cry then when you write the check for the pain medication, or cry later when you are rolling on the floor dying in pain at home. With all the endless variables of what is going to work for your condition, you might just as well play the lotto- you might have better luck.

There is hope because this strange field of pain medications and their side effects is going to change sooner than we think. The pain management world is big money business. Which, for us means that they will keep trying new medications and therapies for us. Years ago, Endo labs made a break through with their Lidoderm patch, thus changing the way pain relief was given to a patient. The topical patch gave relief over the course of a day with little to no side effects. Now, Endo is facing the big challenge of the Lidoderm patch coming in generic form. Great for us, less money! Bad for Endo.

The research field will keep advancing in the field of pain management. Business analysis say that this trend will keep growing for the next 3-5 years! We will see an increase in generic pain medications. Even though many of the branded medications have been the fore-runners in the treatments, its time they stepped aside. New treatments will be pushing their way into the market, and making their mark to help many patients find relief. Many of these will not cost as much as their older competitors, which is a great advantage in this recession.

According to one report (via), many of the new drugs hitting the market are reducing their R and D They are building off of brands they already have in production, either by line extensions or expanded formulations. They have learned what they need to know by the medications they have on the market and are just expanding on them. This will help build companies into being more specialized in the pain management arena, and make use of their products with expired patents.

Hopefully, with many more players in the pain management research field, we will have medications that cost us less, with better results and with less side effects! After all life is short, and I want to live every moment to the fullest!
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Study of Naltrexone effects continues

Researchers at Standford are now into their next stage of clinical trials of looking at low doses of Naltrexone for use with fibromyalgia patients. The first study which was implemented early in 2007 showed hope that Naltrexone might work for fibro patients with little side effects. Typically, Naltrexone is used in 50 mg dose to help treat alcohol and opiate addiction. They tested the drug for fibro in a very low dose, around to 4.5 mg. Instead of blocking the bodies pain receptors, the dosage of the medication “modulated activity of glial cells to act as a neuroprotectant and suppressant of proinflammatory cytokines”. (medpagetoday) The study was lead by Jarred Younger, PhD and Sean Mackey, MD, PhD. Here’s a great chart showing their results:
ldn
“Overall, self-reported, daily fibromyalgia symptoms (scale 0 – 100, with 100 being most severe symptoms). Time periods are: baseline, placebo, LDN, and washout. The data are separated into drug responders (solid line, 6 people) and drug nonresponders (broken line, 4 people). Drug responders are individuals who had at least a 30% greater reduction of symptoms during LDN versus placebo.” -stanford.edu

Hopefully by the end of this year we will know if the dug will help those of us with fibromyalgia.

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Link to Stanford post

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