Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Commonly used painkiller 'should be banned over heart risk'
Safer alternatives exist to diclofenac, say researchers at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, who want it banned worldwide.
Diclofenac, like ibuprofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or ‘NSAID’. It is often prescribed after surgery and to combat arthritic pain, when ibuprofen is not strong enough.
It can also be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy without a prescription, for example in the branded form of Voltarol Pain-eze tablets.
But two years ago the Barts researchers found that it was linked with a 40 per cent increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
That analysis crystallised the fears of many doctors, who have raised concerns about the drug for years.