The Pharmacy and Poisonous board has cautioned Kenyans against the use of Non-Steroid Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) especially Diclofenac for pain management.

In a statement on Friday, the board warned that overusing the drugs is associated with blood clots in the arteries of patients with pre-existing conditions.

"NSAIDs as a class, if used at high doses and for long periods, are associated with an increased risk of blood clots in the arteries, especially in patients with underlying heart or circulatory conditions or with certain cardiovascular risk factors which in some cases has led to heart attacks or stroke," the board said.

To mitigate the risks associated with the use of diclofenac the board has listed realities surrounding the use of the drug.

{Sample of diclofenac drug}

First, the board says there is a small risk of heart attack or stroke in patients taking systematic diclofenac regularly, especially at high doses (150 mg daily) and for long period.

Further, the use of diclofenac is no longer recommended for patients with a history of a heart attack or stroke, heart failure, blockages to blood vessels to the heart or brain or who have had an operation to clear or bypass such blockages or circulatory problems that restrict blood flow to limbs.

People who smoke or have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or diabetes have been advised to seek a doctor's advice on whether they should use the drug and the best way to take it.

Those on long term diclofenac treatment have been asked to visit doctors to have the prescription reviewed to ensure it is still right for them to use.

The board now appeals to Kenyans to ensure whatever medicine they take should be under the prescription of a doctor.