The safety of the anti-inflammatory drug most commonly known as Voltaren is in question due to concerns it could pose a risk of heart attack.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is reviewing the need for warnings about the drug diclofenac, which is sold over the counter under different brand names, including Voltaren, Clonac, Diclohexal and Fenac.
Research by the University of Newcastle has shown that the drug could be harmful – an analysis of 17 studies found diclofenac increases the risk of cardiovascular events by 40 per cent.
This has raised serious questions about the dangers of the drug. But how realistic is it to expect pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily pull the products from the shelves? Those with a history of heart problems should consider their options and discuss them with their doctor before taking themselves off the drug.