Diclofenac Painkiller Linked to Heart Attacks
Diclofenac, a common painkiller and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke by 50%.
Diclofenac is known as the brand-name drugs Voltaren, (known as Voltarol in the UK) Cambia, Cataflam, Dyloject and Zipsor. It is available in pill, capsule and gel form. A major study done in the UK by BMJ, a leading UK medical journal, has shown that Voltaren can increase the risk of heart attack significantly. It can also cause heart failure and irregular heartbeat. Diclofenac works by suppressing prostaglandins in the body, which are small molecules.
According to the BMJ, “Diclofenac poses a cardiovascular health risk compared with non-use, paracetamol use, and use of other traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” They also reported that “The adverse event rate among diclofenac initiators increased by 50% compared with non-initiators.” They concluded that Diclofenac poses a great cardiovascular health risk.
While Diclofenac is more commonly used in the UK, it is often prescribed in the United States as well. The painkiller is the most widely used NSAID in the world. In 2015 the FDA warned that NSAID painkillers increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. The FDA further strengthened it’s warning by requiring updated labels to all NSAID prescriptions. An alarming report by the FDA states that “The risk of heart attack or stroke can occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. The risk may increase with longer use of the NSAID.”
Diclofenac Is Used To Treat:
• Back Pain
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Osteoarthritis and Gout
• Muscle sprains
• Menstrual cramps
Diclofenac Side Effects:
It is important to take NSAID’s safely, and to know the side effects. If you experience serious side effects, contact your doctor immediately. You can also report side effects to the FDA MedWatch program.
• Nausea and vomiting
• Tinnitus – Ringing in your ears
• Stomach Ache
• Heart Attack
• Stomach bleeding
• Liver and kidney problems
• High Blood Pressure
• Low red blood cells (anemia)