Benefits and Risks of Aspirin | Dr Jay Deshmukh | Sunflower Hospital Nagpur :- More than 100 years ago acetyl salicylic was named as Aspirin by Bayer a German scientist. Aspirin continues to be a major and important drug in preventing vascular diseasesin health. Besides preventing heart and brain strokes, Aspirin is also known to prevent dementia and colorectal cancers. Should everyone take Aspirin a day ?
How can Aspirin prevent a heart attack ?
- Benefits and Risks of Aspirin |Dr Jay Deshmukh | Sunflower Hospital Nagpur :- Aspirin prevents heart attack by acting with your blood clotting mechanism . If you bleed your blood clotting cells called platelets build up at the site of wound.The platelets help form a plug that seals the opening in your blood vessel to stop bleeding. But this clotting can also occur in the blood vessel that supplies your heart. If the blood vessels are already narrowed due to atherosclerosis, the build up of fatty tissues in your arteries- fatty deposit in the lining of your vessel can burst. Then a tiny clot can quickly form and block the artery. This prevents blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack. Aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of platelets- possibly preventing a heart attack.
Should you take a daily Aspirin ?
- Benefits and Risks of Aspirin |Dr Jay Deshmukh | Sunflower Hospital Nagpur:- Your doctor may suggest daily Aspirin if you already had a heart attack or a stroke. Also if haven’t had a heart attack but you have had a stent placed in your coronary artery, you have had a coronary bypass surgery or you had chest pain due to coronary artery disease. You never had a heart attack but are at a risk of getting one. If you are a diabetic with at least one more risk factor like smoking, hypertension or high cholesterol then Aspirin is recommended.. And you are a man older than 50 or a woman older than 60 years. The use of Aspirin in diabetics with no other risk factor is controversial.
Should you avoid daily Aspirin if you have another health condition ?
- Benefits and Risks of Aspirin | Sunflower Hospital Nagpur :- You should inform your doctor if you have any clotting disorder of blood, stomach ulcers or Aspirin allergy. This includes asthma caused by Aspirin.
What is the dose of Aspirin recommended ?
- Benefits and Risks of Aspirin |Dr Jay Deshmukh | Sunflower Hospital Nagpur :- Your doctor will recommend a dose of 75 mg per day and above upto 325 mg per day. If you have had a heart attack or have had a stent placed, it is very important to take Aspirin and any other blood thinning agent exactly as recommended.
What happens if you stop taking daily Aspirin a day ?
- Dr Jay Deshmukh :- Stopping daily Aspirin can be dangerous and can have rebound effect that can trigger a blood clot. This may lead to heart attack. Please consult your doctor before doing so.
Can Aspirin be given along with other pain killers ?
- Always have a gap of at least two hours . Certain drugs like Ibuprofen or Naproxen given along with Aspirin can increase bleeding in the stomach. Certain pain killers may increase blood clotting themselves. Hence consult your doctor before taking Aspirin and another pain killer.
What are the possible side effects of Aspirin ?
- While daily Aspirin may prevent clotting of blood it may increase the tendency for bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke. Daily Aspirin usage can increase your risk of stomach ulcers. If you have a bleeding ulcer or have bleeding anywhere in your gastrointestinal tract, Aspirin may increase it to a life threatening level, though this is rare. Let your doctor know that you are allergic to Aspirin. This may at times trigger an asthma like episode.
Other precautions while taking Aspirin ?
- If you are undergoing dental procedure or any other surgery please let your surgeon know about it. Aspirin may be stopped 5 days prior to surgery. Aspirin is generally not stopped before cataract surgery.
Is low dose Aspirin recommended in pregnancy ?
- Low dose Aspirin has been used to prevent or delay the onset of pre-eclampsia. Other indications may include prevention of still birth, foetal growth restriction, preterm birth and early pregnancy loss.
What are the other uses of Aspirin?
- This inexpensive drug is also the drug of choice in Rheumatic fever, Kawasaki disease, pericarditis. Aspirin given shortly after a heart attack decreases the risk of death.
What is Aspirin resistance ?
- Dr Jay Deshmukh :-Aspirin resistance is the inability of Aspirin to reduce platelet production of Thromboxane A 2 and thereby platelet aggregation and activation. If inspite of being on Aspirin if you get a stroke or progressive coronary artery disease, Aspirin resistance can be a possibility.
Benefits and Risks of Aspirin |Dr Jay Deshmukh | Sunflower Hospital Nagpur :- Aspirin, a tiny inexpensive pill available since more than 100 years continues to challenge the medical profession by its unique action and its ability to prevent a stroke or a heart attack. Its utility in preventing dementia and colorectal cancers and its use in pregnancy in selected women , makes it a wonder drug .
Author: Dr Jay Deshmukh
M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD
(Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi)
Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur