Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals has agreed to voluntarily withdraw Darvon and Darvocet, the branded versions of prescription pain medication propoxyphene, from the US market following a request from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA asked for the withdrawal after it reviewed new clinical data indicating that the drug puts patients at risk of potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.

The watchdog has also asked the generic manufacturers of propoxyphene-containing products to voluntarily remove their products as well, and recommended that healthcare professionals stop prescribing propoxyphene.

Patients who are presently taking the medication are advised to consult their doctor as soon as possible to discuss alternative pain management therapy.