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NIH - Aspirin “Prescription aspirin is used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis caused by swelling of the lining of the joints), osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by breakdown of the lining of the joints), systemic lupus erythematosus (condition in which the immune system attacks the joints and organs and causes pain and swelling) and certain other rheumatologic conditions (conditions in which the immune system attacks parts of the body). Nonprescription aspirin is used to reduce fever and to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches, menstrual periods, arthritis, colds, toothaches, and muscle aches. Nonprescription aspirin is also used to prevent heart attacks in people who have had a heart attack in the past or who have angina (chest pain that occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen). Nonprescription aspirin is also used to reduce the risk of death in people who are experiencing or who have recently experienced a heart attack. Nonprescription aspirin is also used to prevent ischemic strokes (strokes that occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain) or mini-strokes (strokes that occur when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked for a short time) in people who have had this type of stroke or mini-stroke in the past. Aspirin will not prevent hemorrhagic strokes (strokes caused by bleeding in the brain). Aspirin is in a group of medications called salicylates. It works by stopping the production of certain natural substances that cause fever, pain, swelling, and blood clots.”

NHS - Anti-platelets, aspirin, low dose “Antiplatelet medicines reduce the risk of clots forming in the blood. Normally, when there is a cut or break in a small blood vessel, a blood clot forms to plug the hole until the blood vessel heals. Small cells in the blood called platelets make the blood clot. When a platelet detects a damaged area of a blood vessel, it produces a chemical that attracts other platelets and makes them stick together to form a blood clot. Aspirin reduces the ability of the platelets to stick together and reduces the risk of clots forming. … Low dose aspirin should not be taken if you have: • an active peptic ulcer, • haemophilia or other bleeding disorder, or • an allergy to aspirin or to NSAIDs (for example, ibuprofen or diclofenac). Aspirin must not be given to anyone under 16 years old, unless under specialist advice. Low dose aspirin should be taken with caution if you have: • asthma, • uncontrolled high blood pressure, • had a previous peptic ulcer, • liver problems, or • kidney problems. Occasionally some people are advised to stop taking aspirin seven days before a planned operation. This should always be on the advice of your doctor or surgeon.”

NHS - Reye's syndrome “You should not give children under the age of 16 aspirin, or medicines that contain aspirin, unless your doctor specifically advises you to do so. Other names for aspirin include: • acetylsalicylic acid, • acetylsalicylate, • salicylic acid, and • salicylate. If your child or teenager has flu (influenza) or another viral infection, you should use ibuprofen or paracetamol to reduce their fever or relieve pain. Ibuprofen is not recommended if you have a history of asthma, kidney or liver disease. Some under-16s have specific conditions that need treatment with drugs that contain aspirin. If your child has one of these conditions, your doctor may decide that the benefit to their condition outweighs the risk of taking the aspirin-containing medicine. If your doctor advises your child to take aspirin, they will usually also advise your child to have the chickenpox and flu (influenza) vaccine, to reduce the risk of them developing Reye's syndrome. “

Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks - Is an aspirin a day the right thing for you? It's not as easy a decision as it sounds. Know the benefits and risks before considering daily aspirin therapy.

Should I take daily aspirin to prevent a heart attack or a stroke?

Highlighted Articles

Aspirin resistance: disparities and clinical implications. (Pharmacotherapy. 2008) “Aspirin is one of the most widely prescribed drugs for the prevention of thrombosis in patients with vascular disease. Yet, aspirin is unable to prevent thrombosis in all patients. The term "aspirin resistance" has been used to broadly define the failure of aspirin to prevent a thrombotic event. Whether this is directly related to aspirin itself through biochemical aspirin resistance or treatment failure, or if it is because of aspirin's inability to overcome the thrombogenic aspects of the disease process itself, has not been elucidated. This can have dramatic clinical implications for a variety of vascular disease subsets and is cause for concern, considering the high prevalence of aspirin use for both primary and secondary prevention. Disparities exist in the rates of aspirin resistance among certain patient populations, such as women, patients with diabetes mellitus, and those with heart failure, and across clinical conditions, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.”

Aspirin for Women: Yes or No? (2007) "Women who regularly took high-dose aspirin … more than 14 adult-strength tablets a week -- did not get a health benefit. Instead, they were 43% more likely to die from hemorrhagic stroke compared with those who never took aspirin. Hemorrhagic stroke is stroke due to bleeding in the brain … Older women and women with pre-existing risk factors for heart disease got the largest benefit from regular low- or moderate-dose aspirin. … "There are suggestions here that there is a subgroup of women for whom regular aspirin makes sense," Chan tells WebMD. "But no one should take aspirin therapy on her own. This still requires a thorough discussion of individual risks and benefits with a doctor." … "These new findings by Chan et al. cannot overcome the accumulated evidence that aspirin is not particularly effective for the primary prevention of death from cardiovascular disease in women," Baron and colleagues note."

Aspirin may lower death risk in women (2007) "Aspirin in low to moderate doses may lower the risk of death in women, particularly those who are older and prone to heart disease, a 24-year study of nearly 80,000 women suggests. However, experts cautioned that the results are not definitive and that women should not take aspirin as a health preventive without talking to their doctor. In this long-running study of nurses who were middle-aged and older, women who took aspirin had a 25 percent lower risk of death compared with those who never took it. Aspirin-takers had a 38 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 12 percent lower risk of death from cancer. "

Aspirin Dose for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (JAMA. 2007) "Conclusions Currently available clinical data do not support the routine, long-term use of aspirin dosages greater than 75 to 81 mg/d in the setting of cardiovascular disease prevention. Higher dosages, which may be commonly prescribed, do not better prevent events but are associated with increased risks of gastrointestinal bleeding."

Highlighted Internet Site

NIH NTP-CERHR: Common Concerns - Aspirin (Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction)

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General Information


Aspirin Lowers Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Aspirin not worth risks for healthy women: study

Aspirin's Clot-Prevention Ability Blunted by Dietary Fat: Study

Daily aspirin tied to risk of vision loss

Does aspirin cut deaths? New study clouds picture

Effect of daily aspirin on long-term risk of death due to cancer: analysis of individual patient data from randomised trials. (Lancet 2011)

Even Low-Dose Aspirin May Increase Risk of GI Bleeding, Study Suggests

Study Finds Aspirin Still Best at Preventing 2nd Stroke



Aspirin for Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction: WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE? (J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2011) “This analysis does not support a general recommendation for the use of aspirin for primary prevention of MI and also suggests that effective management of risk factors in accordance with current guidelines may attenuate any potential benefit from aspirin with respect to MI. However, there may be a modest benefit in postmenopausal women with respect to stroke.”

Discontinuation of low dose aspirin and risk of myocardial infarction: case-control study in UK primary care (BMJ 2011) “Individuals with a history of cardiovascular events who stop taking low dose aspirin are at increased risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction compared with those who continue treatment.”

Effect of Aspirin on Mortality in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (The American Journal of Medicine 2011)

Long-term effect of aspirin on cancer risk in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer: an analysis from the CAPP2 randomised controlled trial (The Lancet 2011)

Long-term use of aspirin and the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. (Am J Med. 2011)

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