Common painkiller poses risk to heart health

One of the world's most-used painkillers, diclofenac, the active component in Difene, has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in a major study published on Wednesday morning.

The risk was apparent for both men and women of all ages and with low doses of diclofenac, the study in the BMJ reported. "Considering its cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks, however, there is little justification to initiate diclofenac treatment before other traditional NSAIDs", the study concluded.

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

Are you anxious the medication you take could be impacting your overall health negatively? 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.

Diclofenac is a NSAID used for treatment of pain and inflammation with the brand names Voltaren, Cataflam and Zipsor.

It is widely used to treat a range of conditions including headaches, back pain, arthritis and flu.

The research team, led by Dr Morten Schmidt from the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark examined starting the use of the drug compared with no NSAIDS, beginning the use paracetamol and starting other traditional NSAID drugs.

Diclofenac was associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiac events such as irregular heartbeat or flutter, ischaemic stroke, heart failure, and heart attack. Eligible individuals were at least 18 years of age and had at least a year of continuous prescription records before the date of the study start in 1996.

However, its cardiovascular risks compared with those of other traditional NSAIDs have never been examined in large randomised controlled trials, researchers said. It finds an "increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events" compared with use of paracetamol, other painkillers or none at all. The researchers compared the history of 6.3 million patients aged 46 to 49 years, which were divided into three groups, including the risk of morbidity: low, medium and high.

Starting diclofenac was also associated with an increased rate of cardiac death compared with no NSAIDs, and an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding compared with no NSAIDs, starting ibuprofen or paracetamol, but not with naproxen. Some researchers suggest the risk means the drug should only be available as a prescription. The researchers add that while the relative risk for heart issues was seen to increase, the absolute risk for patients stayed low.

The study also relies on observational data, so it can't directly prove that diclofenac is causing problems.

The authors say their results also indicate that using diclofenac as a reference for demonstrating the safety of selective COX-2 inhibitors represents "a potential flaw in safety trials".

Recommended News

  • Several People Behind Trump Were Removed, Replaced During Rally In Montana

    Trump has shown increasing concern about the stakes for Republicans and, by extension, himself in the elections that will determine political control of Congress for the next two years.
    Denver Post reacts to anonymous New York Times op-ed

    Denver Post reacts to anonymous New York Times op-ed

    The Times issued a statement saying it was confident the Justice Department 'would not participate in such a blatant abuse of government power'.
    Jurgen Klopp Is 'Already Talking' With Exciting PSG Midfielder

    Jurgen Klopp Is 'Already Talking' With Exciting PSG Midfielder

    Liverpool top the Premier League table after winning all of their opening four games, ensuring the club's best start since 1990-91.
  • Syrian government and Russians target Idlib in heavy strikes

    Syrian government and Russians target Idlib in heavy strikes

    Back in March, President Trump seemed to announce a new Syria policy without notifying anyone else in government. There are an estimated 30,000 rebel fighters still in the area, including some 10,000 al-Qaeda-linked militants.
    Nishikori takes revenge on Cilic

    Nishikori takes revenge on Cilic

    "I don't really feel pressure from them", Osaka said. "I think she can win a title now, even though grand slam". In her third-round match, she was even quicker, dominating Aliaksandra Sasnovich , 6-0, 6-0, in 50 minutes.
    Harry and Meghan's heartwarming visit to WellChild event

    Harry and Meghan's heartwarming visit to WellChild event

    WellChild , a charity of which Harry is a proud Patron, aims to raise awareness and support for seriously ill children. A never-before-seen photo of Meghan Markle watching TV with her goddaughter has been unearthed on social media.
  • Marco Rubio hallway confrontation with Alex Jones: 'Don't touch me again, man'

    Marco Rubio hallway confrontation with Alex Jones: 'Don't touch me again, man'

    When Rubio continues to ignore him, Jones calls out again, "I wonder why Rubio got so mad at me and threatened me physically". Jones then suggested the lawmaker wanted to get him arrested, whining, "It's not enough to take away my First Amendment".
    Trump escalates attacks on his attorney general

    Trump escalates attacks on his attorney general

    He later continued: "I'm not suggesting these prosecutions are politically motivated, I'm not suggesting they're wrong". In a flurry of tweets last week the president claimed that Google's news service was "rigged" against him .
    Judge Kavanaugh vows to be a ‘neutral and impartial arbiter’

    Judge Kavanaugh vows to be a ‘neutral and impartial arbiter’

    Republicans hold a slim Senate majority and can confirm Kavanaugh if they stay united. Kavanaugh said he also has upheld many government regulations over the years.
  • Ariana Grande's ex Mac Miller dead at 26

    Ariana Grande's ex Mac Miller dead at 26

    ET confirms that an adult male died at Miller's home on Friday, though officials would not confirm the identity. Rapper Mac Miller was found dead Friday after a suspected overdose, according to reports .
    Pay dispute hits Danish national soccer team

    Pay dispute hits Danish national soccer team

    Sweden were awarded a 3-0 win and Uefa fined the DBU £18,000 (Dh85,000). Denmark risks being ruled out of the UEFA if it cancels another match.
    Tropical storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf Coast

    Tropical storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf Coast

    Now we must say first that this isn't a huge Hurricane "yet" but is still very unsafe indeed which should not be taken likely. Tropical Storm Gordon now has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and is moving to the WNW at 17 miles per hour.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.