Darvocet®, Darvon® and other drugs that contain propoxyphene were recalled in November 2010 because of serious side effects that can lead to stroke and death.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to any part of the brain is interrupted. The blood carries oxygen to the brain and oxygen is vital to the organ’s survival. Cells in the damaged area of the brain die when starved for oxygen and the part of the body governed by those brain cells becomes damaged. When a stroke occurs, the damage done to the patient’s body depends where in the brain the stroke occurs.
Strokes usually happen suddenly with no indication that one is coming. A stroke may happen intermittently for a couple of days.
If the stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain, it is likely to cause a headache. The headache is usually characterized by:
- Beginning suddenly
- Being especially painful
- Happening when you are lying flat or awakening you if you are asleep
- Worsening if you change position such as bending, coughing, or straining
Additional symptoms can include:
- Variations in attentiveness, such as sleepiness, unconsciousness, coma, confusion or loss of memory
- Changes in hearing
- Changes in sense of taste
- Problems swallowing
- Loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty walking
- Problems writing or reading
- Lack of bladder or bowel control
- Weakness of the muscles on one side of the face or in one arm or leg
- Tingling or numbness on one side of the body
- Changes in personality, mood, or emotions
- Difficulty with vision, including decreased vision, double vision, or loss of vision
- Problems speaking or understanding speech
- Changes in sensation such as the ability to feel touch, pain, pressure, or temperature differences
Tests for signs of stroke can include:
- Examination to test for the above symptoms
- Checking for bruits, or the sound caused by turbulent blood flow in the neck
- Checking for high blood pressure
- Reading CT and MRI brain scans to find damage
- Doing magnetic resonance angiography or CT angiography to look for malformed blood vessels in the brain that could have caused the stroke
- Echocardiogram to check if a blood clot traveling from the heart could have caused the stroke
- Ultrasound to determine narrowing of arteries in the neck
- Laboratory tests for complete blood count, bleeding time, blood cholesterol and blood sugar
Darvocet® and Stroke Link
Darvocet® is a narcotic painkiller that was withdrawn from the U.S. market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 19, 2010. The reasons for the recall were many, but the most important reason was the damage propoxyphene (one of the main active ingredients in Darvocet®) did to the heart.
A recent review of clinical studies by the FDA showed that propoxyphene caused heart arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. One type of arrhythmia that was found, called atrial fibrillation, can lead to a stroke. Another abnormal heart rhythm, or ventricular fibrillation, can cause sudden cardiac death.
For more information, contact a Darvocet® stroke lawyer today. We can help you obtain compensation if you were harmed by the recalled drug.