The painkiller causing heart attacks and strokes

Extreme pain makes you do extreme things…

Say, for example, you suffer from excruciating migraines, back pain or arthritis. It’s hard to turn down prescription painkillers, even though you know they come with side effects and a risk of addiction.

But, how can you resist a few pain-free hours when you’re that uncomfortable? It’s not easy. But I have some information that’ll make declining those pain meds a bit easier… especially a certain type.

It turns out a common painkiller used to treat migraines, back pain, arthritis, toothaches and other painful conditions comes with serious cardiovascular risks, like heart attacks and stroke.

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Diclofenac: The NSAID that harms your heart

Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark recently found that the common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac doubles the risk of major cardiovascular problems.

In fact, people who took diclofenac had a higher risk of heart issues like irregular heartbeat or flutter, ischaemic stroke, heart failure and heart attack.

And the risk levels for these serious heart issues were off the charts. The risk was…

  • 50 percent higher than people who weren’t taking any NSAIDs,
  • 20 percent higher than people taking paracetamol (Tylenol) or ibuprofen,
  • And 30 percent higher than people taking naproxen!

This heart trouble hit quickly too. Just 30 days after starting diclofenac, people were significantly more likely to suffer a serious cardiovascular event. And it didn’t take much to trigger the risk. Even at low doses, diclofenac was tied to major heart troubles for men and women of all ages.

Taking diclofenac also led to a higher rate of cardiac death and upper gastrointestinal bleeding than not taking NSAIDs at all. Kind of scary, right?

Managing your pain without diclofenac

If you have chronic pain, chances are you’ve heard of diclofenac — or maybe even taken it. If you’re not sure, here are some of the other names it’s sold under:

  • Cambia
  • Cataflam
  • Voltaren
  • Voltaren-XR
  • Zipsor
  • Zorvolex
  • Solaraze
  • Pennsaid
  • Flector
  • Dyloject
  • DermacinRx
  • Lexitral
  • Sure Result DSS Premium Pack
  • Xenaflamm

Alternative painkillers

Chronic pain can ruin your quality of life, which is why it’s so tempting to reach for pain pills and get instant relief. But do you really want to be dependent on dangerous drugs like diclofenac forever?

No way. Especially when there are better methods of pain relief — methods that address the root cause of your pain. This approach to pain relief is more of a long game than a short one. But it will pay off in the end. You’ll be pain-free without an addiction to dangerous painkilling medications.

Here are a few approaches for relieving pain naturally. Obviously, what works best for you will depend on what type of pain you have. But these tips are a good starting point for tackling pain:

  • Switch to a whole food diet filled with fruits and veggies. Eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods and avoiding sugary processed foods decreases inflammation throughout your body. Less inflammation means less pain.
  • Try meditation and mindfulness practices. Meditation reduces stress, which lowers cortisol levels and inflammation. Plenty of people have found significant pain relief through meditation and mindfulness alone. Maybe you can too. Here’s a guided pain relief meditation you can try.
  • Give acupuncture or acupressure a try. Acupuncture is one of the most scientifically-supported pain relief methods in alternative medicine. It gets pricey, though. So, if you’re on a budget, you may want to try acupressure at home first.
  • Try nature’s pain “meds.” If you’re looking for immediate pain relief, there are supplements you can take that reduce inflammation and relieve pain relatively quickly without serious side effects. Some effective options are capsaicin, ginger, turmeric and Boswellia.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and