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Use of dangerous diclofenac on the rise

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Earlier this week we read a disturbing article about diclofenac, a powerful, but commonly-used pain reliever.arthritis-pain.jpg

The article points out that diclofenac has significant cardiovascular risks:

 

Researchers looked at cardiovascular risk data for individual non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from meta-analyses and found that diclofenac, rofecoxib and etoricoxib were consistently ranked highest in terms of cardiovascular risk, compared with non-use, and naproxen was associated with the lowest risk.

 

In fact, the editorial which accompanies the article makes an alarming statement:

The adverse cardiovascular profile of NSAIDs includes risk of atherothrombotic events like myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal.

The increased cardiovascular risk has been observed both in people with a prior high risk of cardiovascular disease and in previously healthy individuals, and this risk appears to be dose dependent...diclofenac is the agent most associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events: a 40%–60% higher relative risk of serious cardiovascular events, compared to non-use of NSAIDs, has been reported. 

Yet, despite this risk, diclofenac use is growing at an alarmingly rapid pace. 

So what can you do if you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other painful condition?

First, if your doctor has prescribed diclofenac, then you should discuss the risks and the benefits. It is especially important that you take diclofenac for as short a time period as possible, and at the lowest dose possible. 

Second, don't simply depend on diclofenac for the pain relief! Augment the diclofenac with pain patches, natural anti-inflammatory products, topical pain relievers, diet, exercise, and anything else to reduce the pain. 

The objective is not to depend on any single approach to reduce your pain. 

Rather, it's a combination of things which will safely reduce your pain and increase your mobility.