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Propoxyphene overdose

Alternative names

Poisoning from an overdose of propoxyphene.

Poisonous Ingredient


Where Found

  • Darvocet
  • Darvon
  • Dolene
  • Darvon-N
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • Body as a whole
    • Muscle spasticity
  • Respiratory
    • Breathing slow and labored or shallow
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Breathing may stop, which can be fatal
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • Pinpoint pupils
    • Deafness
  • Skin
    • Cyanosis (blue fingernails or lips)
    • Rash
  • Gastrointestinal
    • Vomiting
    • Nausea
    • Spasms of the stomach or intestinal tract ( abdominal cramps )
  • Heart and blood vessels
    • Weak pulse
    • Low blood pressure
  • Nervous system
    • Drowsiness
    • Coma
    • Seizures

Home Treatment


Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • The patient's age, weight, and condition
  • The name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed
  • If the medication was prescribed for the patient

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed.
  • Use gastric lavage .
  • Administer activated charcoal.
  • Give a narcotic antagonist (multiple doses if needed).
  • Administer intravenous fluids as needed.
  • Monitor breathing.
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

If an antidote can be given, recovery from an acute overdose occurs within 24 to 48 hours.

Update Date: 8/6/2003

Ari Schwell, M.D., Director, Emergency Department of the Episcopal Campus of Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT