Home » Resources » Dictionary » Terms

Definition - What does Propoxyphene mean?

Propoxyphene is a synthetic drug compound that falls under the class of opioids that worked as a milder substitute for codeine to help manage pain relief as a cough suppressant. The two former brand names of propoxyphene are Darvon and Darvocet, no longer sold due to side effects from people who took their prescribed dosage, leading to heart problems.

SureHire explains Propoxyphene

A ban on the drug propoxyphene came in 2010, with many cases of heart issues spurring the health industry to remove the product off the market. The effects of propoxyphene use draw from the bioelectric activity it causes to the heart muscle that, like all opioids, works as a catalyst to bind to the opioid receptors in the brain to help relieve pain. However, the full extent of propoxyphene's health risks is unknown, despite the statistics of people who sustain heart disorders from its use.


A few examples of heart disorders linked to propoxyphene use include arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure (CHF), and tachycardia or rapid heart rate. Since its ban, people still have access to propoxyphene through the illegal drug trade system to accommodate their habit at a fraction of the cost. The danger for addicts stems from many cases involving dealers mixing opioids with other substances that change propoxyphene's base form, resulting in an overdose. In the workplace, opioid use can pose an unsafe work environment with an across-the-board stigma on drug use and mental health. Employers must know the telltale signs of propoxyphene to deter injuries such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and poor cognition/memory.


Subscribe to SureNews!

Get your Reasonable Suspicion Checklist! Join our community and get access to more resources like this! Emails are sent monthly, so no need to worry, we will not fill up your inbox.