Aspirin has been recommended to people with a heart condition for years, but will it help with a heart attack? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. However, there are a few tips you should consider before picking up a bottle.
Patients can use aspirin two ways to fortify themselves against a heart attack: in cases of emergency and in low-dose therapy. Aspirin works on heart attacks because its blood-thinning ability reduces the potential for formation of heart-stopping blood clots.
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In the event of a heart attack, the American Heart Association recommends
calling 911 immediately, then waiting for the operator to recommend taking aspirin while you wait for the EMTs to arrive. If the operator does recommend aspirin, the patient will likely be told to chew the aspirin for fastest results. According to The New York Times, scientists discovered
that chewing aspirin achieved “a 50 percent reduction in platelet activity” in less than half the time it took aspirin that was swallowed whole.
Low-dose aspirin therapy, as directed by a doctor, has been found to “reduce the risk of a second heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular-related death by about 25 percent,” according to the AHA
However, the American College of Cardiology warns that aspirin
has some side effects:
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- Stomach upset or soreness (gastritis)
- Allergic reaction
- Internal bleeding, which is particularly dangerous for patients prone to bleeding and stroke victims
Also, ibuprofen should not be taken with aspirin, according to the British Heart Foundation
, as the ibuprofen could double the risk of bleeding.
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