Should You Take Aspirin For Heart Disease?
Aspirin has been used as a pain reliever for more than 100 years. Since the 1970s, it’s also been used to prevent and manage heart disease and stroke. In fact, a low-dose aspirin each day for at least 10 years can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 10%.
However, it does not benefit everyone. Talk to your doctor about whether it is appropriate for you
How Does It Help the Heart?
It eases inflammation. Plaque may be more likely to cause a heart attack or stroke if it’s inflamed. Aspirin blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase. That makes your body less likely to produce chemicals that can help cause inflammation.
It helps prevent blood clots. Some chemicals in the blood trigger events that cause blood clots. When aspirin stops those chemicals, it helps slow the formation of the clots. That’s important because they can clog the arteries that bring blood to heart muscle and the brain, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
It can reduce your risk of death. Taking aspirin regularly can lower your risk of death from all causes, particularly among:
Antiplatelets are also used:
How Are They Taken?
Usually once or twice a day. You shouldn’t take them on an empty stomach.
Tell your doctor if you’re allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen before they prescribe you this medicine.
People with bleeding problems, ulcers, or who are planning to have surgery, including dental surgery, should talk to their doctor before taking these. They may cause excessive bleeding.
You shouldn’t stop taking your antiplatelet drug unless your doctor tells you to.
These drugs may need to be taken for the rest of your life, depending on your condition.
While taking these, ask your doctor what you can take for pain relief or minor colds. Read the labels of other pain relievers and cold products to make sure they are aspirin-free. Medicines containing aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause bleeding problems when taken along with antiplatelet drugs.
Before any surgery, dental procedure, or emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine. You might need to stop taking it for 5 to 7 days before dental work or surgery. However, don’t stop this medicine without first talking with your doctor.
Use caution during activities requiring you to be alert (like driving a car) until you know how the drug affects you.
Are There Side Effects?
Antiplatelets can cause:
Who Could Benefit?
If you have symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 right away. If you don’t have an aspirin allergy, EMS personnel may ask you to chew one standard, 325-milligram aspirin slowly. It’s especially effective if you take it within 30 minutes of your first symptoms.
If you’re at risk for heart disease, carrying an aspirin with you in case of emergency might be a lifesaving technique.
What Are the Risks?
What are the Benefits?
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of aspirin therapy before you begin a regular regimen.
How Much Should I Take?
Research says between 80 milligrams and 160 milligrams per day. This is less than half of the standard 325-milligram aspirin most people are prescribed.
Many studies show the lower dose works just as well as the higher dose. It also drops your risk of internal bleeding. A baby aspirin contains 81 milligrams. There are other lower-dose adult aspirins available.
Check with your doctor first to find out what dose is right for you.
How Should I Take It?
First, tell your doctor if you are allergic to aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If you get the go-ahead to start an aspirin routine, then:
Ask your doctor what other medicines you can take for pain relief or minor colds while you take aspirin. Read the labels of all pain relievers and cold products to make sure they’re aspirin-free. Other drugs with aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause bleeding when taken with your regular aspirin therapy.
Before any surgery, dental procedure, or emergency treatment, tell the doctor or dentist that you’re taking aspirin. You might need to stop taking it for 5 to 7 days before your procedure.
However, don’t stop taking this medicine without first consulting with your doctor.
Are There Side Effects?
Yes. Some common ones include:
Call your doctor if any of these become severe or do not go away.
Contact them right away if you have:
Who Shouldn’t Take Aspirin?
Talk with your doctor about whether aspirin might be a good idea for you.