Washington, D.C. Government medical advisers Friday recommended a ban on Darvon, a prescription medicine that’s been used to treat pain for more than 50 years but left a trail of problems such as addiction and suicide.
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted 14-12 to recommend withdrawing Darvon after a daylong hearing examining its risks and benefits. The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisers, but often does so.
Darvon was first approved in 1957, when there were few alternatives for treating pain except aspirin and powerful narcotics. Now mainly marketed as Darvocet, which includes a dose of acetaminophen, the drug remains one of the top 25 most commonly prescribed medications. More than 20 million prescriptions were written in 2007.