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Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before altering medication

Media Release

15 February 2013

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you alter any of your medication

Arthritis New Zealand is concerned by recent anxiety raised by British academics surrounding the safety of diclofenac, marketed as Voltaren.

“Drug safety is extremely important,” said Chief Executive Sandra Kirby today, responding to comments in the media that linked the use of diclofenac with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. “However, concerns need to be balanced against the fact that tens of thousands of New Zealanders rely on drugs like diclofenac to manage their arthritis pain on a daily basis. Pain management is a major health issue, and we need to know what medication would replace this drug before we think about withdrawing it. “

Ms Kirby urged anyone concerned about the safety of their medication to discuss their concerns in the first instance with their GP, specialist or pharmacist before taking any drastic actions like stopping taking their medication.

Arthritis New Zealand is a national organisation that raises awareness of the more than 140 forms of arthritis, advocates for those living with arthritis, funds research, and provides support through information and advice. There are more than 530,000 New Zealanders living with arthritis.

ends

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