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Widely-Used Painkiller Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Event Risk

By jeremyc | September 5, 2018

A new study reveals that diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that’s more widely used than other such drugs, increases the risk of major cardiovascular events.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also called NSAIDs) are used to relive pain. Millions of people in the U.S. take them each year.

Conditions for which these drugs are frequently taken are fever, headaches, and inflammatory conditions. While these drugs are widely used, they are believed to increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

A large-scale review by The European Society of Cardiology declared that people who have an increased risk to heart disease shouldn’t be prescribed nonaspirin NSAIDs.

Now this study investigates how diclofenac, which is used more than other NSAIDs, affects cardiovascular risk. The researchers studied 252 studies involving more than 6 million people.

The researchers investigated the cardiovascular risks associated with regular diclofenac use. Additionally, they also compared this risk to the cardiovascular risks linked to the use of naproxed, ibuprofen, or paracetamol.

The researchers noted that risk of major cardiovascular events, like heart failure, stroke, heart attack, etc., associated with diclofenac was much greater than other NSAIDs.

People who used diclofenac were found to have 50 percent greater risk of cardiovascular problems, compared to those who didn’t take it. In comparison with starting ibuprofen or paracetamol, starting diclofenac was linked to 20 percent increased risk of developing major cardiovascular events.


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