Pendle2 Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hello everyone....
I wonder if anyone has experience of using Diclofenac?

This drug has just been withdrawn by my Health Authority after some research showed an increased risk of heart problems.

As one of the few helps for my multi sited osteoarthritis I am no longer able to have and so am trying to manage using ibuprofen which is much less effective. Is this a common experience currently and how are others managing if so?

Thank you.

Carol Makin


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Carol, welcome to our forums.

    Yes, there has been a general withdrawal of Diclofenac in the UK as studies have found that people who take the drug are at greater risks of heart attack and strokes. The withdrawal is also taking place in the USA.

    I also found the suggestion that using ibuprofen or aspirin was a good substitute.

    What has your GP / Pain management specialist suggested?

    Hopefully, a forum member will be able to come and give their own personal experience in switching away from Diclofenac.

    Best wishes
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Carol. It's years since I took diclofenac for my rheumatoid arthritis. I ran the full gamut of anti-inflammatories in those days but, in the end, had to stop as they'd damaged my stomach so much.
    Since then the Cox2 inhibitor anti-inflamms have become available. The selling point was that they wouldn't damage stomachs but they have later been found, like other anti-inflamms, to be a bit dodgy for hearts, strokes etc.

    I think I can truthfully say that most people on here who are on anti-inflamms are on naproxen and that they are found to be slightly better than ibuprofen and slightly worse than diclos. However, with any anti-inflamm, you should also be prescribed a stomach-protecting med such as omeprazole or lansoprazole.

    My husband, who is waiting for a new hip, is currently balancing out co-codamol and paracetamol. Not ideal but then nothing is.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was taken off diclo for the same reason: it's not the first time in my life I have been deprived of a helpful drug which improved the quality of my life because a few people's constitutions did not suit that medication or because it might cause future problems. Stuff them and stuff that, I have problems now.

    I was moved from celebrex by my GP (as prescribed by my rheumatologist in my pre-OA days) because it was too expensive for his budget. Celebrex was excellent, its replacement (naproxen and a stomach protector) did nothing for the inflammation but did give wonderful oral thrush. I was given diclofenac when my OA was diagnosed back in 2011 but by then was so used to the dross I only used it sparingly. That habit remains.

    I no longer take an oral anti-inflammatory, I occasionally use Voltarol (which I buy OTC) which has diclofenac as an active ingredient. As it is applied topically it is unlikely to affect my BP etc. because it reduces the pain to something bearable which has to be better for me all-round. It is, as my dad used to say, the same dog but with a different bit of string. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Pendle2
    Pendle2 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for responses. It is helpful to hear ideas. Best wishes.