Anyone had their Diclofenac stopped by their doctor and changed to another NSAID with notification ?

I went to order my prescription today only to discover that my surgery had changed me to naproxen from Diclofenac without any prior notification. The pharmacist said it was because of the increased risk of a heart attack caused by Diclofenac.

Has anyone else had this done or have any experience of naproxen ?

26 Replies

  • Hi Hector, I was changed a few year ago. My doctor said it's because Dic carries a higher risk of heart/coronary problems. I was changed to Naproxen which has a much lower risk.

    Beth x

  • Yes, but I asked to be changed because I had read some reports etc, and was worried re long term issues with diclofenic. Unfortunately , I hav' nt found naproxen as effective for me. I also changed from losec to pantoprazol for stomach protection, on my Rheumatologist s advice.

    I don't take anti inflamms as regularly now as my disease is ' under control' just occasionally. I prefer diclac as it turns out, but I guess like everything, it depends on the individual, I was surprised naproxen did' nt relieve my recent wrist/ knee mini flare, thankfully all has settled again, touch wood etc etc.

    Not surprised you would be changed, you have increased risk f heart problems with RA anyway, but as my consultant says we are well monitored, and I am on a statin anyway, for high LDL, total cholesterol read 5.3 but 3.2 consistently bad cholesterol, a pill for this and a p ill for that!, ho hum!!!

    Xx gina

  • I was hospitalised last year due to diclofenic. I had diverticulitis and they took me off diclo then as it causes the sort of problems that i was having,

    Hope you get on ok. sylvi. xx

  • Thanks, like everything we take there are bound to be risks that go with them. I think what really annoyed me was that it was changed without notification. Diclofenac suits me and does give me stomach problems etc , I'm allergic to aspirin which also cause a prob with anti inflammatories cos a lotofthemI can't take . hey ho will see what happens :-)

  • Hi Hector - I had severe fluid retention problems with Diclofenac so never asked for them again, but was put on Naproxen last week and it seemed fine although I'm not taking it any more at the moment because I noticed I bloated a little on that one too - but nothing on the Diclofenac. Naproxen is just a stronger version of Ibuprofen I believe and it does say on the leaflet that it is often used for patients with RA so seems to be the most well-tolerated and most used of the NSAIDs for us. Good luck with it and I agree they should have phoned you before changing the medication at least? TT

  • I have only ever been prescribed Naproxen and although it may take a couple of days to kick in, it is keeping my pain well under control while I wait for the MTX to take effect.

  • Hi Hector i have been taken off diclo as well because of the more severe side effects of long term use and put on naproxen which does not appear to work as well.

  • Again, many thanks for your replies. It does seem that Naproxen isn't as effective as diclofenac but I will just have to wait and see. A friend of mine is on Meloxicam which she says is really good.

    It worries me that Naproxen has been described as a stonger ibruprofen because I can't take that. I end up being very poorly and in the bathroom :(

  • Hi I have taken Voltarol for 21 years everyday no problem. Last August my GP changed it to Naproxen,saying same family of drugs but kinder to your tummy and Omeprazole tummy protector. I took the drugs and woke up to find my face had swollen like a football and the left side of my face was numb, paralyzed. My eyes were swollen and streaming and my skin bright red and burning. I was in a terrible state. GP said I'd had a severe allergic reaction, not sure if it was one of the drugs or combination of both. I understand that this is not a common reaction to these drugs, nevertheless I am back on Voltarol. It is my daily lifeline without it I cannot move and i'm not happy about giving it up, so I just have to hope for the best. Methotrexate ok but not enough on its own to cope on a daily basis.

  • Ooh that sounds like a nasty reaction. I'm on humira as well as 20 mg of methotrexate and every time The hospital tries to reduce my meds I have a bad flare. So I'm not looking forward to changing my anti inflammatories I was diagnosed 6 years ago and I'd rather turn up my toes a couple of years earlier due to the Diclofenac and be pain free than not be able to move

  • You should have had an opportunity to discuss this with your doctor. Best practice would have been to put a note with your last prescription explaining WHY and when the change was taking place and that you could discuss it with the doctor if required.

    I think I would write a polite letter to the surgery to state this, so that they don't behave in this high- handed way in future - it's supposed to be co-operation between you and your health professions to manage any long-term illness!

  • I found Naproxen was great for taking away my pain and inflammation but after a week or so my pain increased due to swelling. My eyelids, fingers, hands, feet and legs were all puffed up. I tried using my Nintendo Wii at Christmas and found I couldn't bend my ankles as they were so swollen. Anyway I came off them and the swelling went away.

  • I'm seeing my doctor on Monday to discuss it and I'm also going to speak to my rheumy clinic beforehand to get their advice.

    It really is beginning to look like naproxen isn't that good.

    Your answers have really helped Thank you xx

  • Talking to the doc does sound like best thing to do as we each respond individually to the drugs so what suits one person doesn't suit another. My rheumy told me that pros & cons with each of the NSAIDS, and said what she recommended but then did give me room to decide what level of risk/reward I was prepared to take. After all, it's our bodies so there should be a two way process in deciding what we stick in them. However, it may not be all docs decision as sometimes I think the the primary care trusts do suggest things that should be avoided on cost or risk grounds. Hope appt eases your concerns. Polly

  • The doctor should have had a chat with you!! common courtesy!, my hospital trust stopped first line prescribing of diclofenac some 6 months of ago it is associated with higher risk of cardio vascular problems than some of the other


  • ive been on naproxen among others for about 18 months. the last month or so ive been gradually getting more pain though so im gonna book to see the doc and hopefully get things sorted.

  • It's interesting that Summers hospital stopped it about 6 mths ago Maybe the others will follow.

  • HI

    i had heart attack way back in1986 also joint probs which escolated around 1994 and was given diclofenic took it for a few years without any adverse effects, Then i developed diabetes my doc at the time said I should stop taking it owing to my history.I was given naproxen last week seems to be ok,my diabetic nurse said there are side effects will keep close watch on kidney function seems to me you mend something and the drug your taking can cause something else,but we are all size dosnt fit all.

    Hope you get sorted soon,


  • Doc wrote to me, saying my repeat prescription for Diclofenac would not be continued. I only use approx 10 tablets a month (as Doc would know from re-order frequency) as I only take them when I really need to for arthritic bouts in my ankle, knees and arm. I'm fit (otherwise) have good BP and low pulse. Been to Doc and put me on Paracetomol & Co-Codomol -I'm not expecting it to be of much use as paracetomol on its own has never done much. I tried Naproxin previously and I had mouth ulcers and, strangely - hair loss. All stopped when I came off it and back on Diclo.

    Diclofenac just works for me, I don't overdo it - Could this be a cost cutting exercise?? Do I have any rights to insist on this product? What do I do if the pain killer prescribed does not work for me?

  • Hi, I notice this conversation took place 2 years ago, I'm just now being told to consider Naproxin instead of Diclofenic Sodium, which I've been taking for about 12years. I am concerned about changing, especially after ready your comments about it not being as effective. Is there any body out there who is actually happy with Naproxin?

  • Hi Diane.

    I was on diplofenic for migraines and arthritic pain for 5 years up until 2 months when I received a letter from my Gp saying that they were changing me to Naproxin due to diplofenic causing heart problems. It took only 2 weeks of being on them to experience joint pain again. I though that I would give it a chance to work. But I've been taking more codeine to help with the increased pain I'm in on Naproxin. So a trip to the drs is on the cards this week as I haven't felt this kind of pain in years and my migraines have became more frequent than when I taking the diplofenic. I'm also taking stomach tablets too, but can't remember the name off hand. My advice is stick to what you know or at least try them like I have, as some people seem to find they work. Unfortunately they are not for me.

  • Hello, thank you for your response. I agree with you, I felt very good on the diclofenic, two tablets 75mg. But my recent visit to Biologics, they suggested I reduced to one tablet, and replace the other one with codrydomol. Well I have been trying it for the last 3 weeks, and now the pain is coming back. Headaches too. I'm going to speak to RA tomorrow.

  • Hi Diane.

    How did you get on yesterday? What advice did your RA have?

    I've been to see my dr and he is putting me back on diplofenic. So hopefully I will be pain free again soon x

  • Hello, I did speak to the Biologics nurse again, she said I don't have to cut down, but the less I take is more beneficial. I had to get my dr to ring me to put the diclofenic back on my prescription at 75 and also 50mgs so I can take what suits me upto 150mg a day. I am going to see what lowest level I can cope with.

  • Yes I was changed to Naproxen and you get something else to offset the negative effects on the digestive system. took them religiously for 5 days. they did nothing the pain carried on getting worse. stopped and took 1 x 50mg Diclo. tab, pain gone! for next few days. in my opinion Naproxen is useless in my case. You can buy Dic 50mg over the counter in European pharmacies for pence!

    I guess if you take lots of diclo. it may be a problem I take 1 or 2 when really necessary.

    an overreaction as always.

  • Hi just been changed yesterday to naproxen but 2 x 50 dicloflex worked ok for me but after a month or so on the dic doc said the less strong naproxen would offer a lower risk of side affects plus a stomach protector lansoprazole take pre food 1 per day. Never took prescribed drugs till recently but the flood of stiffness from inflammation has really grounded me help!

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