Recent studies have raised concerns among doctors that some painkillers, not just Vioxx, pose significant health risks to users. The dangers of Vioxx to the heart and kidneys has become well known. However, new studies raise concerns over other painkillers, including diclofenac, a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug sold as Voltaren and Cataflam.
The heart risks from diclofenac were recently reported by researchers in Australia and their report suggests that regulators review whether this drug should stay on the market. In an effort to curtail the use of these potentially dangerous painkillers, doctors have suggested that patients first try over the counter naproxen to alleviate their pain. This drug does not raise the risk of of heart attack or stroke. The pharmaceutical giant Merck is already facing over 16,000 lawsuits due to the dangers of their painkiller Vioxx-and the known risks of increased heart attack and stroke.