About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Diclofenac: Used and Recommended Globally, Despite Heart Attack, Stroke Risks

by Thilaka Ravi on February 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Font : A-A+

Diclofenac: Used and Recommended Globally, Despite Heart Attack, Stroke Risks

Diclofenac, the most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in 15 countries, listed on 74 national drug lists, is recommended despite cardiovascular risks, study reveals.

A study in this week's PLOS Medicine finds that the painkiller diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the same class as aspirin) is the most commonly used NSAID in the 15 countries studied and is included in the essential medicines lists of 74 low-, middle- and high-income countries, despite its known tendency to cause heart attacks and strokes in vulnerable patients. This risk is almost identical to that of Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was withdrawn from worldwide sales in 2004 because of cardiovascular risk. Researchers writing in this week's PLOS Medicine call for diclofenac to be removed from national essential medicines lists and to have its global marketing authorisations revoked.

Advertisement

It has been known for over a decade that some NSAIDs such as diclofenac are associated with more cardiovascular complications than other NSAIDs such as naproxen, but in an analysis of the essential medicines lists of 100 countries, Patricia McGettigan from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and David Henry from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the University of Toronto, Canada, found that diclofenac was listed in the essential medicines lists of 74 countries and naproxen, a much safer alternative, in just 27.

Furthermore, in an in-depth analysis of the sales and prescriptions of NSAIDs in a selection of 15 low-, middle-, and high-income countries using information from 2011, they found that diclofenac sales (or prescribing, in the case of England and Canada) were three times higher than that of naproxen. The findings demonstrate that evidence about the risks associated with diclofenac has translated poorly to clinical practice.
Advertisement

McGettigan states: "Diclofenac has no advantage in terms of gastrointestinal safety and it has a clear cardiovascular disadvantage." Henry added: "Given the availability of safer alternatives, diclofenac should be de-listed from national essential medicines lists. McGettigan concludes: There are strong arguments to revoke its marketing authorisations globally."

In an accompanying Perspective, K. Srinath Reddy from the Public Health Foundation of India and Ambuj Roy from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (uninvolved in the study) say that the results of this study suggest that immediate action is warranted to remove diclofenac from national drug lists and that the World Health Organization should provide information on the safety of NSAIDs.

However, according to Reddy and Roy, it is not just the case of diclofenac versus naproxen that is at stake but the broader challenge of ensuring that everyone responsible for the safety of patients makes informed decisions in an appropriate and timely manner.

Reddy and Roy conclude: "If we do not collectively rise to that challenge, no NSAID can relieve the pain of that failure."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
Black Tea Protects against Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases
Green Mediterranean Diet may Help Repair Age-Related Brain Damages
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bell´s Palsy Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Mitral Valve Stenosis And Mitral Valve Replacement Congenital Heart Disease Stress and the Gender Divide Stroke Facts Stroke Heart Healthy Heart Hyperventilation 

Recommended Reading
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to ......
Stroke
Stroke can cause permanent disability and it is important to recognize its early warning signs to .....
Warning to Pregnant Women on Use of Ibuprofen
Recent study claims that pregnant women who take even small doses of painkillers, such as ......
Heart Attack - Animation
Animation of Heart Attack symptoms. Heart attack is caused due to ischemia of the heart muscles ......
Congenital Heart Disease
Heart diseases that are present at birth are called “ Congenital heart diseases”....
Hyperventilation
Hyperventilation occurs when a person breathes in excess to the body’s requirement....
Mitral Valve Stenosis And Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral valve replacement is a surgical heart procedure to correct either the narrowing (stenosis) or...
Stress and the Gender Divide
Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in th...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)