|Common names||Dextropropoxyphene, propoxyphene, Darvon|
|Systematic name||[(2S,3R)-4-(dimethylamino)-3-methyl-1,2-diphenylbutan-2-yl] propanoate|
dextropropoxyphene (also known as propoxyphene and darvon) is a synthetic opioid of the propionate chemical class. like other substances in its class, particularly tapentadol and tramadol, it produces mild euphoric, analgesic, sedative and antitussive effects when administered (typically orally, but sometimes intravenous or rectally). notably, it is reported to produce significantly less euphoria in comparison to other opioids.
dextropropoxyphene was first patented in 1955 and subsequently manufactured by eli lilly and company.
due to its euphoric and analgesic effects, dextropropoxyphene is known to be habit forming, albeit not to the same extent as other opioids such as morphine or heroin. notably, dextropropoxyphene is also known to cause seizures and potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia at high doses, which are not able to be reversed by naloxone.
today, dextropropoxyphene is rarely encountered on the streets and is sometimes obtained by prescription from a compounding pharmacy. it is strongly recommended that one research this substance’s toxicity and use proper harm reduction practices if choosing to use this substance.
dextropropoxyphene is similar in structure to tapentadol. while tapentadol has an ethyl substitution on the gamma-carbon, dextropropoxyphene instead has both benzyl and propionyl substitutions. dextropropoxyphene also contains a benzene ring in place of the phenol ring found in tapentadol. the empirical formula of dextropropoxyphene is c22h29no2 and has a molar mass of 339.471 grams per mole.
opioids produce their effects by binding to and activating the μ-opioid receptor. this occurs because opioids structurally mimic endogenous endorphins which are naturally found within the body and also work upon the μ-opioid receptor set. the way in which opioids structurally mimic these natural endorphins results in their euphoria, pain relief and anxiolytic effects. this is because endorphins are responsible for reducing pain, causing sleepiness, and feelings of pleasure. they can be released in response to pain, strenuous exercise, orgasm, or general excitement.
unlike most opioids, dextropropoxyphene is also a weak serotonin reuptake inhibitor as well as a potent nicotinic acetylcholine antagonist. dextropropoxyphene has a bioavailability of about 40% and is metabolized by the cytochrome p450 3a4 enzyme. the optical isomer of dextropropoxyphene, levopropoxyphene has no analgesic activity but retains antitussive effects.