Regulator cautions Kenyans against Diclofenac

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 20 May, 2022 10:57 | < 1 min read
Kenyans have been cautioned against use of Diclofenac.
Kenyans have been cautioned against use of Diclofenac.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has flagged the use of 'Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs' (NSAIDs), specifically Diclofenac for pain management.

In a statement on Friday, May 20, 2022, the Board said that NSAIDs as a class, if used at high dosage and for long periods, are associated with an increased risk of blood clots in the arteries, especially in patients with underlying heart or circulatory conditions or with certain cardiovascular risk factors, which in some cases has led to heart attack or stroke.

Diclofenac is a widely used medicine for relieving pain and inflammation, particularly in painful conditions such as arthritis.

"There is a small risk of heart attack or stroke in patients taking systemic diclofenac regularly, especially at high doses (150 mg daily) and for long periods. Use of diclofenac is no longer recommended for patients with history of a heart attack or stroke, heart failure, blockages to blood vessels to the heart or brain or have had an operation to clear or bypass such blockages, or circulatory problems that restrict blood flow to your limbs," the statement read in part.

The board has recommended prior doctor's prescriptions for patients who smoke or have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes.

"If you are on long-term diclofenac treatment you will need to have your treatment reviewed to ensure that it is still right for you. You are advised to speak to your prescriber at your next scheduled appointment," the statement added.

The Board has also advised the public against self-medication with painkillers, especially diclofenac.

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