Malaria spraying indoors begins

A PAINKILLER taken by millions can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by 40 percent, a study has found. Researchers say that while there is no need for patients to panic, diclofenac should be restricted to prescription only. In completely healthy patients, a 40 percent raised chance of heart problems is not at all significant. But for those who already have a high risk of a heart attack or stroke, taking the painkiller could present serious problems. The Medicines and Health-care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that patients should not stop taking the drug, but should consult their doctor if they have fears over its safety. Last year almost 17 million prescriptions were written by GPs in England for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, for conditions such as arthritis, back pain, gout, headaches and fever. Of these, diclofenac was the most commonly prescribed and given to 6 million patients. It can also be bought over the counter under the brand name Voltarol Pain-Eze