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Common painkiller poses heart risk

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for problems such as back pain, headaches and arthritis, ‘Diclofenac’, has been found dangerous for those who suffer heart problems.  A recent finding from the European review of risks has secured a link between the drug and further heart risk, (for those already suffering with a heart-related problem). 

The advice was updated yesterday, so now The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are raising awareness so that no one with an underlying heart condition continues to use this medication.  It has been advised that smokers and people with high blood pressure should only continue to use the drug if they have consulted their GP or pharmacist.  People who have suffered heart failure, heart disease or a stroke, should cease using the product immediately.

Only applicable to ‘at risk’ individuals

Despite the worry surrounding the painkiller, the MHRA have said that those who are not in the ‘at risk’ category should continue to use the painkiller without worry.  The deputy director of the MHRA’s vigilance and risk management of medicines division, said: “Whilst this is a known risk and warnings have been included in patient and healthcare information for some time, this advice is now being updated.

In an early statement from 2004, when this information was first suggested by medical researchers, Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, said: “…the increased risk is small, and many patients with chronic debilitating pain may well feel that this small risk is worth taking to relieve their symptoms

So, with six million prescriptions written for Diclofenac in 2012, it is up to patients whether or not they continue to use the medication.   


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