Warning: Diclofenac Can Increase Risk of Heart Complications

Warning: Diclofenac Can Increase Risk of Heart Complications

Consult your doc before taking anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief.

Voltaren is a US brand name for a strong-armed NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) called diclofenac that’s recently been called out by Danish researchers in their study published in the journal BMJ.

Seems that diclofenac users showed a 20 percent greater rate of “atrial fibrillation, ischemic stroke, heart failure, heart attack, or heart-related death in the 30 days following their prescription fill,” than those who took acetaminophen or ibuprofen and a 30 percent higher rate of those health threats than naproxen users.

Diclofenac is available over-the-counter and by prescription in America, but as always, your best bet is to minimize your use of any anti-inflammatory drugs. Stomach and intestinal bleeding are potential risks associated with all NSAIDs.

If you have chronic pain, try to reduce or eliminate it without medications.

  • For acute tissue or bone pain, try RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation).
  • Pre- or post-op, to reduce pain-increasing stress, practice mindful meditation for 10 minutes twice daily. Check out meditation streaming options on the Sharecare app for iOS and Android.
  • Go for physical therapy, which should include stretches and exercises, as well as heat for loosening up and ice for cooling down.

If you still need to take pain-relieving meds, ask your doc about seeing a pain management specialist to help you get through this safely and effectively.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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