Many healthcare organisations around the country have supported the South African Medicines Control Council (MCC) decision to withdraw dextropropoxyphene (DPP).
The MCC’s decision followed an announcement in late 010 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw drugs containing this pain relieving ingredient from the US market.
It was noted that the FDA determined that the benefits of DPP for pain relief at US recommended doses outweighed the safety risk, and requested that suppliers voluntarily withdraw any drugs containing DPP from the US market.
This has led to healthcare professionals seeking alternatives for acute pain management. The next most commonly used prescribed medication contain a combination of tramadol and paracetamol, or codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen. These combinations are pharmacologically sound as they they consist of only proven analgesic substances combined in lower doses.