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Louisana Darvocet Lawsuit Alleges Drug Maker Inadequately Warned of Side Effects

May 18, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

The maker of Darvon and Darvocet has been named in yet another lawsuit.  The class action lawsuit, which was filed by a  former Darvocet user in Louisiana federal court, accuses Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals of, among other things, failing to adequately warn of the drug’s risks.

Darvon and Darvocet are opiod painkillers made with the active ingredient propoxyphene. In November, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)  asked the makers of propoxyphene products to pull them from the market, after a study conducted by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Darvon and Darvocet, found it could cause a serious, and sometimes fatal, irregular heartbeat.

Since the Darvon and Darvocet recall was announced, scores of product liability lawsuits have been filed against  Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals.

According to this lawsuit, the plaintiff  took a generic form of the drug Darvocet around 2006 for pain.   The lawsuit claims the drug creates a significant risk of bodily harm.  Xanodyne is accused of violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and breach of express warranty, violating of warranty of redhibition, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, negligence and strict products liability - inadequate warning.

The plaintiff  is seeking compensatory damages, medical monitoring, court costs, interest and attorney's fees.

The dangers of Darvon and Darvocet were known long before the painkillers were recalled. When  it was pulled from the U.S. market, propoxyphene had already been banned in the U.K. and Europe for several years. The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has petitioned the FDA twice since 1978 to ban propoxyphene before the agency finally acted. According to Public Citizen, propoxyphene leaves much to be desired as a painkiller, causes heart-toxic metabolite accumulates in the body, and is somewhat addictive. The group claims that the FDA's delay in recalling Darvon and Darvocet has cost thousands of lives.

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