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Revised: 9 February 2010

Paradex and Capadex to be withdrawn from New Zealand market

All medicines containing dextropropoxyphene will be withdrawn from the New Zealand market after a review of the safety and efficacy of these medicines showed that their risks outweighed their possible benefits.

Medicines containing dextropropoxyphene are analgesics used to treat chronic moderate pain. Two medicines containing dextropropoxyphene are currently approved for use in New Zealand - Paradex tablets and Capadex capsules.

After reviewing the available evidence, the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee (MARC), which advises the Minister of Health on medicines safety issues, concluded that these medicines:

Medsafe Group Manager Dr Stewart Jessamine said the withdrawal will be gradual to allow time for the safe transfer of patients to alternative treatments.

"Medsafe is working to implement these recommendations and ensure that the withdrawal is as smooth as possible. The withdrawal will not be immediate to allow time for patients to transfer to alternative treatments," Dr Jessamine explained.

Medicines containing dextropropoxyphene have been withdrawn in several other countries, most notably the United Kingdom. The European Medicines Agency and Singapore have recently announced they are also withdrawing these medicines.

When dextropropoxyphene was withdrawn in the United Kingdom it was replaced with other pain killers, mostly by paracetamol alone, codeine alone, or a combination of codeine and paracetamol.

Any patient who is currently being treated with Paradex or Capadex should continue to take their medicines. Those patients who regularly take these medicines will need to see their GP to discuss alternative treatment options.

As with all medicines, consumers and healthcare professionals are encouraged to report all suspected adverse reactions to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring.

ENDS


Additional information

For queries, please contact: Luz Baguioro, Media Advisor (04 496 2349, 021 802 622)

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