In the new study, Morten Schmidt at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark examined the cardiovascular risks of starting diclofenac compared with no non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) - other drugs in diclofenac's category.
There is "little justification" for Global Positioning System prescribing diclofenac given its cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks when compared to other NSAIDs, researchers have warned.
In those who took diclofenac for 30 days, the risk rose by a huge 50% - compared to those not taking any drugs.
The researchers believe its high time that the potential health risks of the drug are recognised and that its usage is reduced, including not making it available over the counter.
The potential link between non-aspirin NSAIDs and cardiovascular has been a major concern since the thromboembolic risks associated with rofecoxib were reported back in 2005, the researchers write.
They said in the paper: 'Treatment of pain and inflammation with NSAIDs may be worthwhile for some patients to improve quality of life despite potential side effects. Diclofenac is a traditional NSAID that has similar selectivity for cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX 2) as COX 2 inhibitors, but the cardiovascular risks of diclofenac in comparison with other traditional NSAIDs have not been investigated through a randomized controlled trial.
Dr Morten Schmidt, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, is now urging for the drug to come with a warning - and that other countries should copy the United Kingdom and make it prescription only. The average age of participants was 46-49 years among those beginning NSAIDs and 56 years among those starting paracetamol.
Researchers found that the increased risks applied to men and women of all ages and also those taking low doses of diclofenac.
The authors mention that although the relative risk was increased, the absolute risk remained low for each individual patient.
The researchers concluded that diclofenac should not be available over the counter, but should have to be prescribed by a doctor, with warning labels on the packaging to ensure patients are aware of the risk before they begin to take the drug.