The Pharmacy and Toxicology Board has warned Kenyans against long-term use of diclofenac as a store-bought painkiller.
The council has included the popular antidepressant drug and stroke as well as stroke.
In a statement on Friday, Fred Siyoi, Executive Director of the Pharmacy and Toxicology Board, Fred Siyoi said that while the benefits of diclofenac are greater than its risks, there is a lower risk of heart attack or stroke in patients who use the drug regularly.
Diclofenac is used to reduce pain as well as joint pain and stiffness caused by arthritis.
This drug is known as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
“The use of diclofenac is no longer recommended for patients with a history of heart failure or circulatory disorders that impede blood flow to their organs,” Siyoi said.
For those who smoke or those with high blood cholesterol and diabetes, they were advised to seek medical advice before taking diclofenac.
“If you are taking long-term diclofenac treatment, you will need to have your treatment checked to make sure it is still safe for you,” the CEO said.
He also noted that diclofenac should only be given or used as prescribed by a qualified health professional.