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What Is Propoxyphene Detox?
Propoxyphene detox is a medically supervised process that helps those who are suffering from Propoxyphene (Darvon and Darvocet) addiction get through withdrawal safely and comfortably. Propoxyphene withdrawal is a set of uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous, symptoms that occur when someone who is dependent on or addicted to Propoxyphene suddenly reduces or stops their dosage.
Propoxyphene is an Opioid Analgesic that was most commonly sold under the brand names Darvon and Darvocet. Similar to Methadone, this drug was used to treat mild to moderate pain. Propoxyphene was available in 2 generic forms—Propoxyphene and Propoxyphene with Acetaminophen. Propoxyphene is the main ingredient in Darvon, while Propoxyphene and Acetaminophen make up the drug Darvocet. At one point, Propoxyphene was commonly prescribed, but it was banned in the United States in 2010 and in much of the rest of the world before that.
Patients took the drug orally, typically at a dose of between 50mg and 100mg every 4 hours. Although the drug is no longer on the market, there may still be stockpiles from before it was banned, and the drug is still manufactured and distributed illegally. Because of the pill’s ability to be habit-forming, patients should not exceed the recommended dosages, as side effects can be lethal. The pills are typically pink in color with Darvon or Darvocet inscribed on the face. Previously available in bottles containing up to 100 pills, more than 10 million Americans had taken Darvon by 2010.
Propoxyphene And Abnormal Heart Health
Darvon and Darvocet were recalled and removed from American markets because of the harmful side effects on the heart caused by Propoxyphene. Patients using Propoxyphene began to have extreme heart complications. In addition to abnormal heart rhythms, Darvocet and Darvon users experienced:
- Cardiac arrest
- Heart attacks
- Slow or fast heart rate
- Congestive heart failure
In addition to heart problems, Propoxyphene caused a number of other serious problems. Thus, the FDA banned the drug from use for safety precautions. A 2010 recall summary the FDA drafted motioned the 2,100 reports of “serious problems” such as:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Brain damage
- Problems with breathing
- Circulatory problems
- Raised or lowered blood pressure
Furthermore, Propoxyphene has lethal side effects including increased risk of stroke and fatal overdoses even if taken alone.
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Like most Opioids, Propoxyphene works by interfering with the body’s natural Opioid receptors. Propoxyphene bonds with these receptors, preventing the body’s natural Opioids from doing so. This blocks the transmission of pain signals, but it also alters brain chemistry. Eventually, the body becomes so accustomed to the presence of Propoxyphene that it no longer produces its own chemicals. At this point the user will have to take more Propoxyphene to feel the same effects; this is known as tolerance. At some point, the body requires Propoxyphene to the extent that it can no longer function normally without it; this is known as dependence. If an individual with a Propoxyphene dependency suddenly reduces or stops taking the drug entirely (going “cold turkey”) they will experience a number of symptoms collectively known as withdrawal.
Propoxyphene withdrawal symptoms include:
- Appetite loss
- Skin rashes
Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, and many who are trying to recover from Propoxyphene use or addiction relapse because they find them unbearable. In some cases, especially when the addiction to Propoxyphene was severe and long-term, withdrawal symptoms can actually be dangerous, even deadly. For these reasons, medically supervised detox is highly recommended in most cases.
Because the various symptoms of Propoxyphene withdrawal can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, the patient should be under the care of a medical professional while detoxing. There are many advantages to medically supervised Propoxyphene detox. For one thing, doctors can prescribe a variety of medications that help ease symptoms and keep the patient safe. In many detox facilities, especially those associated with inpatient rehab centers, patients even begin therapy while in detox, or at least work with future therapists to develop a customized treatment plan. There is also 24-hour medical supervision.
Not only does medically supervised detox keep patients comfortable and safe during withdrawal, it also improves the likelihood of a patient’s success in recovery. Detox makes it much more likely that patients will get through withdrawal without relapsing. Patients coming out of medically supervised detox are also generally in a better state of mind than those who have gone through withdrawal on their own; the former group is therefore more likely to fully benefit from either an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.
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Treatment After Propoxyphene Detox
Although Propoxyphene detox is a critical start to the treatment process, without further treatment it is unlikely to be successful. Patients are strongly recommended to attend an inpatient rehab program after completing detox. Inpatient rehab involves patients residing at a treatment facility and participating in a wide variety of therapies and other treatments. Inpatient rehab truly allows patients to focus on their recovery and is widely regarded a helpful way to achieve and maintain sobriety. Outpatient rehab is strongly recommended following inpatient treatment, although it can sometimes be used in place of inpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab involves patients staying at home or at a sober living home and attending treatment between 2 and 7 days a week.
During treatment, individuals in rehab may receive medication to help counter the effects of depression and anxiety that Darvocet and Darvon cause. Examples of therapies used in treatment include biofeedback, which further balances out compulsive and impulsive behavior to a more stable space.
Many facilities also offer holistic care, such as exercise and yoga, as well as nutrition options for better health. Transitioning from chemical dependencies may need different layers of healing. Treatment facilities aim to target mental, physical, and emotional damage caused harmful chemicals and co-occurring disorders.
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