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The New York Daily News reports that 31-year-old Kristine Esposito is suing the Pharmaceutical giant, Xanodyne, for heart problems she developed while using the painkiller, Darvocet.

According to the Daily News story, although Esposito was “an otherwise healthy woman,” earlier this year she had to be admitted to a hospital “after feeling an irregular heartbeat.” According to her lawyer, “Doctors diagnosed her with a heart arrhythmia – a potentially fatal and often irreversible condition,” The Daily News reports. The article goes on to explain that Esposito was taking Darvocet to treat abdominal pain at the time.

A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article announced the withdrawal of both Darvon and Darvocet. The Bloomberg article explains that Darvocet, the drug Esposito took, was “a product that combines Darvon’s active ingredient with acetaminophen,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.  

Bloomberg further explains that Darvon is a 53-year-old pain pill and was “pulled from the U.S. market after a study found potentially fatal heart risks in healthy people who take the medicine at the recommended dose.”  The article explains that the FDA “requested the move after evaluating study data, and asked makers of generic versions to take them off the market as well.”

However, Bloomberg goes on to explain that last year the FDA allegedly “rejected an advisory panel’s recommendation to withdraw propoxyphene after reports of fatal overdoses.” Instead, the news source explains, the agency required a new safety study and “black-box warning label” about the dangers of excessive use.

However, Bloomberg explains that according to John Jenkins, director of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, the active ingredient’s benefits “no longer outweigh its risks.”

According to Bloomberg, the study’s data “‘suggested that the heart risk of propoxyphene could apply to all users, not just those who took excessive doses or those with medical conditions,’ such as reduced kidney function,” Jenkins said.

Bloomberg further reports that according to Gerald Dal Pan, director of the FDA’s Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, “About 10 million people in the U.S. received prescriptions for propoxyphene-containing products in 2009.”

The New York Daily News article explains that “Esposito is seeking $10 million in damages.” According to her lawyer, she now risks future health problems from taking this medication, the news story explains.  Her lawyer goes on to say, “‘She’s somebody whose heart no longer beats like yours or mine,’” Bloomberg reports.

If you or a loved one has experienced a serious side effect or symptom of side effects related to Darvon or Darvocet, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with prescription medication recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.         


Goldsmith, Samuel. (December 12, 2010) “Queens woman, Kristine Esposito sues drug-maker Xanodyne over heart arrhythmia from Darvocet.” Retrieved on December 13, 2010 from The New York Daily News.

Peterson, Molly. (November 19, 2010) “Darvon, Darvocet Withdrawn in U.S. Over Heart Risks.” Retrieved on December 13, 2010 from Bloomberg Businessweek.