A new research shows that painkillers such as Voltarol and Voltaren which contain diclofenac as the active ingredient may increase the risk of heart disease.
There is also a tendency to develop gastrointestinal ailments due to prolonged usage.
“We think it’s time for people to be made aware of the risk of using diclofenac and to reduce its use,” says lead-author Morten Schmidt from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark in the research in The British Medical Journal.
“Diclofenac should not be available over the counter, and when prescribed, should be accompanied by an appropriate front package warning about its potential risks”.
Their analysis showed that drugs containing diclofenac could increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 50 percent compared to people who didn’t take the drug.
The increased risk from diclofenac was 20 percent higher than from the use of ibuprofen and paracetamol, and 30 percent higher than using naproxen.
All nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and paracetamol increased the risk of cardiovascular disease in the study, but diclofenac carried the greatest risk.
The increase in risk was also highest among people who already had an increased risk or had already been affected by cardiovascular disease.