Painkiller diclofenac linked to increased heart risks in study

Painkiller tablets

Painkiller tablets

They used an open registry of over 6.3 million adults in Denmark, with patients split into low, moderate and high baseline cardiovascular risk.

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.

"It is time to acknowledge the potential health risk of diclofenac and to reduce its use", the authors wrote.

The researchers said that despite the potential side effects, treatment with NSAIDs may be worthwhile for improving the quality of life of patients suffering from pain and inflammation. "Considering its cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks, however, there is little justification to initiate diclofenac treatment before other traditional NSAIDs", the researchers concluded. Scientists came to the conclusion that Diclofenac has a direct impact on the education of cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic stroke, arrhythmia, heart attack and others.

A widely used analgesic appears to be associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as strokes.

This is the first time the drug's cardiovascular risks were compared with those of other traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen, in large randomized controlled trials. Migration and mortality data were also gathered from the Danish Civil Registration System and Danish Register of Causes of Death. Then they used this data to emulate hundreds of clinical trials at once.

A study carried out by researchers in Denmark looked at nearly 1,400,000 patients who were started on diclofenac between 1996 and 2016, as well as patients who were initiated on other types of NSAIDs and patients who weren't initiated on any NSAIDs. The study included more than 1.37 million diclofenac users, 3.87 million taking ibuprofen, 291,490 using naproxen, 764,781 paracetamol users and 1.3 million using no pain relievers. Average age was 46 to 49 years among participants starting NSAIDs and 56 years among those starting paracetamol.

According to a recent study, the painkiller diclofenac could be associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. These risks applied to both men and women of all ages and even at low doses of diclofenac.

The additional cardiovascular events increased further in the high-risk group, with extra cardiovascular events seen in 39 out of 1000 patients per year, compared with no NSAIDs.

And compared to those using ibuprofen, the risk of using diclofenac increased by 20%.

In those who took diclofenac for 30 days, the risk rose by a huge 50% - compared to those not taking any drugs.