Tags: heart attack | aspirin | FDA | blood-thinner

Is Daily Aspirin Safe?

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Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 04:09 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Major studies showing aspirin’s heart-health benefits came just as the use of aspirin as a painkiller was tapering off in favor of newer drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. But the beneficial study results caused aspirin intake to skyrocket.
 
Then the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made headlines again in 2014 when the agency warned people without a history of heart attack or stroke not to take aspirin. In taking the action, the regulators noted that aspirin carries other risks, including causing bleeding and gastrointestinal problems.
 
The FDA recommended that people who do want to take it daily consult their doctor or other healthcare provider.
 
I strongly disagree with the FDA’s conclusions. Aspirin is a lifesaving drug with a long safety record. It makes no sense for a person to wait until after a heart attack to start daily aspirin therapy; up to 50 percent of people who suffer a first heart attack are unaware that they have heart disease.
 
So if you are over 50 and fall into this category, you should not stop taking aspirin. Its anticoagulation effects last much longer than a day, so it does not have to be taken daily.
 
• If you are a heart attack survivor or you have a history of heart disease, take one low-dose (81 mg) aspirin daily. If you have no history of heart disease, take a low-dose aspirin two or three times a week.
 
• Preferably, you should take the aspirin in the morning, as that’s when most heart attacks occur. It should be taken at the same time every day with food; with breakfast is perfect.
 
• If you don’t have low-dose aspirin, break a regular aspirin in half. But most people find it convenient to keep both low-dose and regular aspirin on hand.
 
• If you think you could be having a heart attack, chew up and then swallow two regular (325 mg) aspirin to get it working in your system quickly. Uncoated is best, but use any that you have on hand. If you only have low-dose aspirin, take about five.
 
• Talk to your doctor about regular aspirin usage if you already take another blood thinner. Aspirin allergy or sensitivity is rare, but it can occur. People allergic to aspirin are also sensitive to ibuprofen and naproxen.
 
Symptoms of an aspirin allergy include runny nose, hives, itchy skin, swelling of the lips, tongue and face, and coughing, sneezing or shortness of breath within a few hours of taking these medications.
 
Rarely, anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, may occur.
 

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Dr-Crandall
Major studies showing aspirin’s heart-health benefits came just as the use of aspirin as a painkiller was tapering off in favor of newer drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. But the beneficial study results caused aspirin intake to skyrocket.
heart attack, aspirin, FDA, blood-thinner
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2014-09-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 04:09 PM
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