Painkiller diclofenac linked to increased heart risks in study

Leslie Hanson
September 8, 2018

It is part of the essential drugs, and many Russians cannot do without him. With paracetamol, the difference is also huge - heart disease can be traced in the dynamics of the three times more than those who chose to Diclofenac. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the anti-inflammatory tablets carried a "small but increased" risk of heart problems.

The findings suggest that that the drug diclofenac should not be made available as an over-the-counter drug.

These population-based registries allowed the team to emulate the level and depth of data that would be collected through a controlled clinical trial.

In the new study, Morten Schmidt at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark examined the cardiovascular risks of starting diclofenac compared with no non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) - other drugs in diclofenac's category. Do you use Diclofenac?

Researchers behind this study and other studies warn of the unsafe of taking painkillers.

Controversial pill diclofenac also increases rates of heart failure and irregular heartbeat or flutter among men and women of all ages, according to the study.

Diclofenac initiators were also at 20% increased risk compared to patients taking ibuprofen or paracetamol, and at 30% increased risk compared to those taking naproxen.

Diclofenac, a widely used worldwide drug with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious cardiovascular problems, so its use should be done with moderation rather than for a long time. For people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, that number would shoot up to 40, with half dying.

While the researchers did acknowledge this was an observational study, they also noted the sample sizes they used were larger than what has been used with previous research on the same subject. But even so, researchers say that the risk is not really justified.

They said in the paper: 'Treatment of pain and inflammation with NSAIDs may be worthwhile for some patients to improve quality of life despite potential side effects. But given the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks, there is little justification for starting a diclofenac treatment before testing other traditional NSAIDs, "the researchers concluded".

Writing in The BMJ, he says diclofenac should only be available with a prescription, like in the United Kingdom - and only them when also accompanied with an appropriate warning on the front of the pack. "In conclusion, our data support that initiation of diclofenac poses a cardiovascular health risk, both compared with no use, paracetamol use, and use of other traditional NSAIDs".

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