Researchers discovered within the first 30 days of taking the common painkiller, some patients experienced several cardiovascular events such as a flutter, heart failure, heart attack, or ischemic stroke.
Daily Mail reported that researchers found that the increased risks applied to men and women of all ages and also to those who are taking low doses of the ingredient.
To investigate any link between diclofenac and potential cardiovascular health risks the Aarhus University Hospital researchers turned to data in the Danish National Patient Registry and the Danish National Prescription Registry to identify a study population, health outcomes, and drug use.
'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? According to Daily Mail, many parts of the world - including the United Kingdom - have banned diclofenac as an over-the-counter medication because of its adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.
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Diclofenac is a component frequently found in painkillers used to treat back pain, sciatica and arthritis. Diclofenac is categorised as an essential medicine in more than 70 countries, according to a 2013 study.
"After taking account of potentially influential factors, starting diclofenac during the study period was associated with an increased rate of major adverse cardiovascular events within 30 days compared with starting other traditional NSAIDs (ibuprofen or naproxen) or starting paracetamol".
The cardiovascular threat also increased with the risk at baseline. But the authors of a new study argue that diclofenac shouldn't be allowed as an over-the-counter drug, or at the very least, should be accompanied by appropriate warnings. Then, the researchers followed and studied these individuals for the next two decades from 1996 to 2006.
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, they said.
A painkiller prescribed to millions of people can raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 50 per cent - even at low doses, warns new research.
This is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. But given other research showing a similar heightened risk, the authors say it's clear that diclofenac needs to be more carefully handled, if not phased out of use completely.