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To the Editor.—
Regarding correspondence in the March 6, 1972, issue of The Journal on the introduction of propoxyphene napsylate (Darvon-N), one possibly significant fact seems to have been omitted from the letters of Mr. Meade and Dr. Maxwell.The previous water soluble formulations of propoxyphene have occasionally been subjected to an unusual form of drug abuse. This has occurred when an individual has disassembled the capsule, dissolved the contents in water, and injected the supernatant intravenously. Some individuals, experimenting with multiple drugs, report a satisfying "high" from the intravenous use of propoxyphene in this way.It may be hoped that a water-insoluble form of the drug will be much less abused. Even addicts appear capable of learning that they may not inject insoluble medications by vein without side effects so severe that they tend not to repeat the experience a second time.
Hansen WG. Propoxyphene Products. JAMA. 1972;220(7):1012. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200070100021