Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: aspirin | daily | benefits | risks

Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

By    |   Monday, 27 January 2014 04:29 PM

Question: I take an aspirin every day, but my wife says it can cause stomach problems. What do you say?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
One baby aspirin (81 mg) daily usually offers sufficient stroke and heart protection, and is usually safe. But it can cause stomach irritation and even rare bleeding in some people. If such a minimal dose causes you stomach problems, there may be a serious condition in your stomach — perhaps inflammation, ulcer, or even a malignancy.
Gastric effects at this dose should be investigated with an endoscopic procedure. If you drink alcohol in excess, or are on other blood thinners such as Warfarin or one of the newer agents such as Pradaxa, be sure you consult your physician and have his or her approval before using aspirin products.
Your wife is right in that many years ago, aspirin was used in much higher doses than today and it did cause gastric irritation and bleeding. These events also occurred before H Pylori was recognized as a cause of gastric ulcers, and before the advent of proton pump inhibitor medications that we now use to control ulcer disease and control the massive gastric bleeding we used to see previously.
The low-dose aspirin used today has been a life-saver for many, and does not usually have the worrisome side effects from high-dose use of aspirin 30 to 40 years ago.

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One baby aspirin (81 mg) daily usually offers sufficient stroke and heart protection, without much risk.
Monday, 27 January 2014 04:29 PM
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