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What Is Diclofenac and What Are the Risks?

March 26, 2019 in

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) doctors may prescribe to patients who suffer from arthritis. It specifically treats swelling or pain relating to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Although this pain-relieving medication can help patients with these diseases live and move more comfortably, researchers have found connections between diclofenac and serious heart problems. You may need to speak to an attorney if you have taken diclofenac and experienced adverse side effects.

About Diclofenac

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescription pain relievers used to treat conditions that cause pain or inflammation. Examples of NSAIDs include Advil, ibuprofen, Aleve, and aspirin. Diclofenac is a type of NSAID specifically for treating arthritis. It exists under the brand names Cambia, Voltaren, Cataflam, Zipsor, and Zorvolex. Diclofenac works by inhibiting the body’s production of nucleic acids – the acids that cause inflammation. Reducing inflammation can help relieve pain and immobility due to arthritis.

Known Risks and Side Effects of Taking Diclofenac

The chemicals in diclofenac that inhibit the production of nucleic acids do not discriminate in where they work. They act on the entire body, not just in locations of arthritis flare-ups. Body-wide inhibition can prevent major organs from performing their proper functions. Taking diclofenac, therefore, runs the risk of experiencing mild to severe side effects. Milder side effects can include gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headache, or dizziness. If a patient experiences more serious side effects, something more may be wrong.

  • Ulcers
  • Bleeding in the stomach
  • Holes in the stomach or intestine
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Heart attack

A series of 252 nationwide studies found that diclofenac increased the adverse event rate by 50%. It may increase a patient’s risk of heart attack by 40%. The risk of serious heart problems, such as heart attack, increases in patients with a history of cardiovascular issues, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Researchers urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take diclofenac off the shelves for its alarming risk of associated heart problems. Studies have connected diclofenac with cardiovascular risks since 1996.

Consumer Rights After Taking Diclofenac

The FDA has yet to discover any conclusive evidence that diclofenac can cause cardiovascular health problems, although it has requested further reviews. In 2005, however, the FDA did recommend that all prescription NSAIDs should include black box warnings describing the potential cardiovascular risks. Still, this medication remains available to thousands of patients throughout the U.S. – many of which may not appreciate the risk of serious and fatal heart problems.

If you or a loved one suffered cardiovascular or gastrointestinal health complications while taking diclofenac, you may have a case against the drug manufacturer. Research teams have gathered enough evidence of the link between diclofenac and health problems that a product liability attorney may have enough grounds for a case against the drug maker for failing to warn consumers of known risks and side effects of taking the drug. You and your attorney can take steps towards filing a lawsuit or class action to achieve a settlement or jury verdict. 

A lawsuit against the drug manufacturer for you or a loved one’s health problems could result in payment for related medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, lost wages, lost quality of life, or wrongful death. Your product liability lawyer can gather information such as your medical history, how long you took diclofenac, and what symptoms you experienced. Your lawyer can then determine the strength and potential value of your case. From there, your lawyer can decide which type of claim to file, if any, and how best to represent your claim.

If you have encountered heart problems or other adverse health effects after taking diclofenac, contact a New York product liability attorney as soon as possible.