Updated on February 6, 2024
4 min read

How Addictive is Darvocet?

Darvocet is made from propoxyphene and acetaminophen. Propoxyphene enhances pain tolerance, while Acetaminophen reduces pain and fever by impacting the brain's heat-regulating region.2,5

The FDA banned Darvocet due to the cardiac risks associated with propoxyphene. Data shows that propoxyphene can cause serious toxicity to the heart and cause fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.3

Darvocet can also lead to opioid addiction, fatal overdose, and suicide ideation. The health risks outweigh its benefits as a pain killer.3

How Addictive Is Darvocet?

As a partial opiate agonist, Darvocet is not as addictive as full agonists like heroin or morphine. However, the FDA classified it as a Schedule IV narcotic as there’s still a risk of addiction if misused, especially in larger doses.

Mixing Darvocet with other substances can also increase the risk of substance use disorder. Misuse of this drug has a variety of psychological and physical consequences and requires professional assistance to overcome it.

What are the Signs of Darvocet Addiction?

When a person is addicted to Darvocet, they may start engaging in dangerous or illegal activities. They may also isolate themselves from friends and family.

Other signs of Darvocet addiction include:

  • Strong cravings for the drug
  • Signs of jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • Stealing prescriptions from other patients
  • Drastic mood changes
  • Taking the drug through unusual means, such as snorting
  • Neglecting daily activities
  • Suicidal thoughts

Before these signs, you may also notice early signs of misuse. These include:

  • Breathing problems
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired vision
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite

Darvocet Withdrawal Symptoms

If a person suddenly stops taking Darvocet, they may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal happens because the body has gotten used to the drug being in its system.

Symptoms of Darvocet withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Changes in respiratory rate
  • Increased anxiety or depression
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Back and joint pain
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Weakness

Can You Overdose on Darvocet?

It’s possible to overdose on Darvocet. It can present itself as respiratory depression, and a person’s breathing may turn shallow or stop altogether.

Other overdose signs include:1

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing skin or eyes
  • Pinpoint or dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Blue lips
  • Weak pulse
  • Slow or uneven heart rate

What Drugs Interact With Darvocet?

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants and other medications that cause sleepiness can negatively interact with Darvocet. It can slow down breathing and cause respiratory depression.

Other substances that can interact with Darvocet include but are not limited to:

  • Cold or allergy medications
  • Alcohol
  • Birth control pills
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood thinners
  • Aspirin
  • Diuretics (e.g., furosemide, Lasix)
  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungals
  • HIV and AIDS medications
  • St. John’s Wort

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Treatment Options for Darvocet Use & Addiction

Addiction to Darvocet or other propoxyphene-based medications may be difficult to overcome. But it is achievable with the right resources and help.

Quitting propoxyphene-based drugs may be very difficult and can lead to a relapse. Only professionals should provide advice, diagnosis, or treatment for Darvocet addiction.

Available treatment options include:

  • Medical detox: Provides professional supervision to monitor withdrawal effects and aid in recovery
  • Inpatient programs: Comprehensive treatment programs that provide 24/7 medical supervision and support
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs): Provide the same medical services as inpatient treatment programs, but you are allowed to return home at night
  • Outpatient Programs: A less comprehensive program than inpatient and PHPs with a flexible treatment option organized around your schedule
  • Support Groups: Provide a community to help maintain sobriety after treatment and includes support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

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Resources for Help and Support

If you or someone you know is struggling with Darvocet addiction, there are resources available to help. Consider reaching out to:

  • National Helpline: 1-800-237-TALK (8255)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Treatment locator
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
  • Your primary care provider or a mental health professional: Consult them for personalized guidance and treatment options


Darvocet is a partial opioid agonist and pain reliever that combines propoxyphene and acetaminophen. It was banned by the FDA due to the drug's dangerous side effects.

Before the FDA ban, it was classified as a Substance IV narcotic. It isn’t as addictive as Schedule I, II, and III substances, but it can still be addictive, especially with heavy misuse.

Darvocet's side effects can cause fatal heart problems, suicide, and addiction. It shouldn't be prescribed or used by anyone, especially people with pre-existing health conditions.

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Updated on February 6, 2024

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