Baku, September 15 (AZERTAC). A Danish study has called for the popular anti-inflammatory drug Voltaren to be sold only with a prescription, claiming the drug increases the likelihood of users suffering strokes.

The findings were presented to the European Society of Cardiology 2010 Congress in Stockholm, Sweden by Dr Gunnar Gislason last month.

The study claims that using diclofenac, marketed in New Zealand as Voltaren, increases the chance of those not thought to be at risk of suffering strokes by 86 per cent.

It also said there`s a higher risk of stroke for those taking high doses of ibuprofen, which is in the painkiller Nurofen.

The eight-year study, which involved more than 2.5 million healthy Danes, said care needed to be taken when patients were using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in particular rofecoxib and diclofenac.

The study recommended the over-the-counter sale of these drugs should be reassessed.

Neurologist and stroke expert Professor Valery Feigin told 3 News the painkillers should be banned.

A spokesman for Novartis, which makes Voltaren, sent out a statement which said the company was aware of the study but did not believe "it changes the benefit to risk assessment for diclofenac when used as directed".

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