United Kingdom painkiller Diclofenac ‘increases risk of HEART ATTACK by 50%’

Researchers have found that diclofenac is associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

The risk was apparent for both men and women of all ages and with low doses of diclofenac, the study in the BMJ reported.

However, he added that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) is still "worthwhile for some patients" - although he said patients should try other NSAIDs first before diclofenac.

The researchers found that starting diclofenac during the study period was linked to increased rate of cardiovascular events such as heart failure, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, and ischaemic stroke within a month compared with starting paracetamol, or other traditional NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

The latest research comes a year after a decade-long Danish study found ibuprofen, commonly sold as Nurofen and Advil, had been associated with a 31 per cent increased risk of cardiac arrest.

Dr Schmidt said: "It is time to acknowledge the potential health risk of diclofenac and to reduce its use".

Are you anxious the medication you take could be impacting your overall health negatively? Some researchers suggest the risk means the drug should only be available as a prescription.

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Diclofenac, marketed as Voltarol in the United Kingdom, has been linked with heart failure and irregular heartbeats, and has recently been withdrawn from sales over the counter in the United Kingdom due to concerns about side effects.

The study, which comes out of Denmark's Aarhus University Hospital, looked at the data of adults who took prescriptions continuously for at least one year. But even so, researchers say that the risk is not really justified.

Furthermore, a connection between taking diclofenac and the increased rate of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and cardiac death was found. Among patients at moderate baseline risk, corresponding figures were seven, seven, eight and 14 additional events, respectively, and for those at high baseline risk, corresponding numbers were 16, 10, one and 39 additional events, respectively.

Diclofenac is a traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for treating pain and inflammation and is widely used across the world. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the anti-inflammatory tablets carried a "small but increased" risk of heart problems.

By the way, the worst result was recorded for those people who took the drug at a lower dose than this required.

But its cardiovascular risks compared with those of other traditional NSAIDs have never been examined in large randomized controlled trials, and current concerns about these risks make such trials unethical to conduct.

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