Friday, December 10, 2010

BCBSNC issues member letters regarding FDA withdrawal of propoxyphene

On December 2, BCBSNC mailed letters to approximately 18,300 commercial members who have had a prescription for a medication containing propoxyphene in the past six months.

Medications containing propoxyphene (e.g., Darvon and Darvocet), a narcotic-like pain reliever, were withdrawn from the U.S. market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on November 19, 2010. This action was taken because of data from a new study that evaluated the effects that increasing doses of propoxyphene have on the heart. The results of the study showed that propoxyphene, taken at therapeutic doses, resulted in significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart that can increase the risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms.

Patients currently taking Darvon or Darvocet should talk to their doctor right away about possible alternatives to treat their pain.

For more information, click to access the Sample Member Letter and Frequently Asked Questions.

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