There is increasing evidence to show that analgesics can increase cardiac mortality and cardiovascular event rates. A recent journal publication reports that Diclofenac was found to increase cardiac events by 38 to 67%. The increased risk with diclofenac was similar to the COX-2 inhibitor Rofecoxib (Vioxx, Merck), a drug withdrawn from worldwide markets because of cardiovascular toxicity. Diclofenac is the most widely prescribed analgesic in over 15 south asian countries.
In the meta-analysis, Rofecoxib, etoricoxib, and diclofenac were the three agents that were consistently associated with a significantly increased risk when compared with nonuse. Rofecoxib increased the risk of serious cardiovascular events between 27% and 45%, and Etoricoxib increased the risk more than twofold compared with nonuse. In two observational studies, Diclofenac increased risk of acute heart attacks by approximately 38% and 39%, respectively.
In a paper published earlier in the premier journal Circulation, analgesic use in 43000 patients with heart attack was associated with a 59% increased risk of death after one year and a 63% increased risk of death after 5 years of use.
Currently, Naproxen, is one of the analgesic found to be safe and not increase cardiac event rates in the analysis.
Next time, think twice before you pop in that analgesic pill! More so, if you have suffered a heart attack before! Instead, try some local application like hot fomentation or balms to relieve the pain!