NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are widely used medicines against acute and chronic pain conditions. These medicines often have good effect, but also carry a risk for serious adverse effects. All NSAIDs have similar effects, but differ from each other in risks of adverse effects.
Diclofenac has for several years been the most widely used NSAID in Norway In the summer of 2013, the European Medicines Agency published a warning against diclofenac based on new published studies that showed that diclofenac carries a higher risk for cardiovascular adverse effects than many other NSAIDs. Despite this warning, the prescribing of diclofenac continued to be high, although a certain decrease did happen.
The purpose of this campaign was to increase the awareness of the adverse effect profile of diclofenac amongst general practitioners, and to recommend ibuprofen or naproxen as better and safer options.
213 general practitioners in Tromsø and Trondheim received visits. We have shown respectively 16% and 18% reduction of number of user of diclofenac in the two cities compared to the rest of Norway. The effect was sustained 12 months after the visits. The results from this campaign has been published in European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.