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February 1977

Therapeutic Usefulness of Propoxyphene Napsylate in Narcotic Addiction

Author Affiliations

From the Addiction Research Center, Division of Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Lexington, Ky. Dr Clark is now with the University of Calgary (Alberta) Faculty of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(2):227-233. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770140117013

• The maximum doses of propoxyphene napsylate used to treat heroin addicts produce a degree of morphine-like activity equal to that produced by 20 to 25 mg/day of subcutaneously given morphine or 10 mg/day orally given methadone. This degree of activity would be sufficient to ameliorate abstinence even in patients dependent on large doses of narcotics—an observation that supports the utility of propoxyphene napsylate in detoxification. On the other hand, only patients taking 10 mg/day or less of parenterally administered heroin could be maintained on maximum subtoxic levels of propoxyphene napsylate without abstinence signs or symptoms suggesting that propoxyphene napsylate would be less useful in maintenance therapy.