Posted 11/3/2010 10:48 PM (GMT -7)
I hate to be the one to say this, but Darvocet/Darvon (Propoxyphene) has virtually no more effect on pain than aspirin does. Some OTC pain medications (notably naproxen and ibuprofen) may actually be *more* effective than Propoxyphene, and have less side effects (propoxyphene can cause problems with thinking, mood, more dizziness than other opioids, just to name a few....and can actually be toxic, whereas most other opiates are basically harmless except for physical dependence/withdrawal and secondary effects on the immune system that we're just starting to understand because of their complexity, and the fact that it's not actually the opiate that impacts the immune system -- it's the secondary effect of downregulating your natural endorphins which are important immune & tissue healing regulators).
I know that psychologically it can be nice to know that you have *something* rather than nothing....but Propoxyphene is what I call a "cop-out drug." Docs generally give it to you because either:
1) They don't realize how useless it is, and simply consider it the "lowest/weakest option on the pain med ladder," therefore a good place to start or a good way of avoiding being seen as prescribing "the strong stuff." In other words, they give it to you because it suits their purposes far more than it is likely to best the best option for your needs.
2) They know exactly how useless it is, and that's why they prescribe it....because they want to shut you up by giving you something that is technically an opiate, but "won't look as bad on paper" if other doctors or law enforcement, the media, etc. ever have reason to look over your records.
In either case, it's a cop-out. The only real reason for prescribing something like propoxyphene over substantially more effective but still non-Schedule-II opioids such as Tramadol, Nucynta, Codeine, or Hydrocodone is because the doctor wants to cover their own backside and/or trick you into thinking you're being given an effective pain medication when you aren't.
Heck, even Sched. 3/4 meds versus Sched. 2 is very much debatable on many levels as to whether the patient's best interests or politics and self-centered covering of the doctor's own posterior are the motivation for choosing one over the other. Opiate dependence is opiate dependence, the differences between dependency on the various opiates are shades of gray at most -- and I speak from extensive experience here, something I know many of you are no strangers to either.
As for Baclofen....my own experiences with it were mixed at best. Gave me severe headaches, something I've read is quite common. Didn't help much either, certainly not compared to Soma (Carisoprodol)....but my doc won't prescribe Soma because it's another one of those meds that has gotten bad press, and although he has some misunderstandings of the science behind Carisoprodol, I have elected to choose my battles and haven't corrected him.
Still, it could be worth looking into and trying. Many have reported success with it....and as Dani mentioned, it has the wonderful attribute of not being too dependency/tolerance-forming. That's a rarity with actual effective medications; anything that is both effective (while being free enough of side effects to be worth it) and non- or only mildly dependency-forming is solid gold in my book.
Do let us know how things work out for you! I hope the information above about Propoxyphene (which you should, as always, back up with your own research; don't take my word for it!) is useful. It wasn't meant to be pointlessly negative.
Conditions: Reactive Arthritis (AKA Reiter Syndrome), Crohn's Disease, Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Syndrome, Sacroiliitis, Costochondritis, As Yet Unknown MS-Like Relapsing/Remitting Neuropathy, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Medications: Currently not that many are taken daily, but there are many at my disposal for part-time use. Low dose pain medication, after years at high doses. Working on innovative ways of taking lesser-known pharmaceuticals and non-prescription supplements to maximum benefit.