Darvocet Side Effects: Dangerous Even at Normal Dosage
Researchers have been aware for decades that propoxyphene, the main ingredient in Darvocet, has the potential to disrupt normal cardiac heart functions. Propoxyphene, also the crux of countless Darvocet lawsuits, is known to cause depression of the hearts ability to contract along with disruptions in its electrical conduction. These changes can ultimately lead to catastrophic and sometimes fatal heart anomalies. Any patient taking Darvocet with a known or even unknown heart defect or disease would be more susceptible to the cardio toxic or harmful side effects of this drug.
However, it was not until the results of a clinical trial mandated by the FDA and performed by Darvocet’s manufacturers, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., that it became known with certainty that these harmful side effects could affect normal patients, and at doses, cause them to potentially suffer from conduction disturbances, heart arrhythmias and even cardiac failure.
Darvocet heart problems
Before the clinical trial, Darvocet was known to be toxic to the heart at high doses through animal studies and case reviews from overdose patients. During the trial, a few participants showed changes in their electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG) even though they were in the normal dose range. An EKG is a diagnostic tool used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. This is the electrical current that flows through the heart causing the muscles to contract and relax at a regular rate that is suitable for maintaining blood circulation throughout the body. Each peak or dip in the EKG wave is associated with this electrical energy’s movement into and out of different parts of the heart. Based on their size, length, and strength doctors are able to evaluate how the heart is functioning. When conduction is disrupted, as seen in the trial, participant’s arrhythmias and cardiac failure can result.
Darvocet heart arrhythmias
Arrhythmias are disturbances of the hearts normal rhythm that can range from decreased to rapid irregular beats which can seriously impairment the heart’s pumping ability resulting in cardiac arrest and death. The causes of arrhythmias are either an abnormal generation of electoral impulses or an abnormality in conduction of the impulse through the heart tissues. In general bradycardia, tachycardia and fibrillations are terms used to characterize different types of arrhythmias. Bradycardia is a decrease in normal heart rate usually less than 60 beats/min. Tachycardia is an increase in heart rate and in adults the rate is over 100 beats/min. Fibrillations are rapid, irregular and unsynchronized beats of the heart. All of these arrhythmias cause the heart to inefficiently pump blood through the body as well as the heart itself, which decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients supplied to the tissue, termed ischemia. If ischemia is prolonged then the tissue dies causing permanent irreversible damage that can result in heart failure, meaning the hearts contractibility is impaired. If the damage to the heart is extensive enough then it will not be able to beat and the person will die. Since Darvocet can disrupt the heart’s impulses any arrhythmia can be a side effect of this medication.
Darvocet lawsuits a response to heart side effects
The majority of Darvocet lawsuits that have been filed so far have been because of these cardiotoxic side effects. Many are filing product liability lawsuits against both Darvocet and its generic manufacturers stating that they should have known and warned patients and their doctors about these debilitating and fatal side effects. A motion is also in progress to consolidate all federal Darvocet lawsuits into a centralized Multidistrict Litigation for all discovery and pretrial hearings. A hearing to consider the motion was scheduled for March 30, 2011. This request was filed by Karen Esposito a 31 year-old who suffered a near fatal heart attack after taking Darvocet. When the consolidation request was originally made there were only four other lawsuits that had been filed. Since then several new Darvocet lawsuits have been filed and Darvocet Lawyers are expecting many more.