Gastroenterologist's say a low-dose aspirin regimen therapy can beat (high-cost with side-effects) anti-platelet drugs.
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You can walk into any pharmacy, grocery or convenience store and buy aspirin without a prescription. The Drug Facts label on medication products, will help you choose aspirin for relieving headache, pain, swelling, or fever. The Drug Facts label also gives directions that will help you use the aspirin so that it is safe and effective.
Why Doctor prescribed Aspirin?
Aspirin is used to relieve mild to moderate pain; reduce fever,
redness, and swelling; and to help prevent blood from clotting.
It is used to relieve discomfort caused by numerous medical problems,
including headache, infections, and arthritis. It is also used
to reduce the risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Larger
doses of aspirin are used to treat gout.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your
doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How Aspirin is used?
Aspirin comes as a regular, coated, extended-release (long-acting),
chewable, and effervescent tablet; capsule; and gum to take by
mouth and a suppository to use rectally. Aspirin is often taken
without a prescription. If your doctor prescribes aspirin for
you, you will receive specific directions for how often you should
take it. Follow the directions on the package or prescription
label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain
any part you do not understand. Take aspirin exactly as directed.
Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed
by your doctor.
Do not break, crush, or chew extended-release tablets and do
not open extended-release capsules; swallow them whole.
If regular aspirin tablets cause a bad taste or aftertaste or
burning in the throat, try taking coated tablets to avoid these
Regular, coated, and extended-release aspirin tablets and capsules
should be swallowed with a full glass of water or milk or after
meals to avoid stomach upset.
Chewable aspirin tablets may be chewed, crushed, dissolved in
a liquid, or swallowed whole; drink a full glass of water, milk,
or fruit juice immediately after taking these tablets.
But what about using aspirin for a different use, time period, or in a manner that is not listed on the label? For example, using aspirin to lower the risk of heart attack and clot-related strokes. In these cases, the labeling information is not there to help you with how to choose and how to use the medicine safely. Since you don't have the labeling directions to help you, you need the medical knowledge of your doctor, nurse practitioner or other health professional.
You can increase the chance of getting the good effects and decrease the chance of getting the bad effects of any medicine by choosing and using it wisely. When it comes to using aspirin to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, choosing and using wisely means:
Know the facts about Baby Aspirin Regimen
and Work with your health professional
Aspirin has been shown to be helpful when used daily to lower the risk of heart attack, clot-related strokes and other blood flow problems. Many medical professionals prescribe aspirin for these uses. There may be a benefit to daily aspirin use for you if you have some kind of heart or blood vessel disease, or if you have evidence of poor blood flow to the brain. However, the risks of long-term aspirin use may be greater than the benefits if there are no signs of, or risk factors for heart or blood vessel disease.
Every prescription and over-the-counter medicine has benefits and risks — even such a common and familiar medicine as aspirin. Aspirin use can result in serious side effects, such as stomach bleeding, bleeding in the brain, kidney failure, and some kinds of strokes. No medicine is completely safe. By carefully reviewing many different factors, your health professional can help you make the best choice for you.
When you don't have the aspirin labeling directions to guide you, you need the medical knowledge of your doctor, nurse practitioner, or other health professional
FACT: Daily aspirin can be safest when prescribed by a medical health professional
Before deciding if daily aspirin use is right for you, your health professional will need to consider:
- Your medical history and the history of your family members
- Your use of other medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter
- Your use of other products, such as dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbals
- Your allergies or sensitivities, and anything that affects your ability to use the medicine
- What you have to gain, or the benefits, from the use of the medicine
- Other options and their risks and benefits
- What side effects you may experience
- What dose, and what directions for use are best for you
- How to know when the medicine is working or not working for this use
Make sure to tell your health professional all the medicines (prescription and over-the-counter) and dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbals, that you use — even if only occasionally.
FACT: Aspirin is a drug
If you are at risk for heart attack or stroke your doctor may prescribe aspirin to increase blood flow to the heart and brain. But any drug — including aspirin — can have harmful side effects, especially when mixed with other products. In fact, the chance of side effects increases with each new product you use.
New products includes prescription and other over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplement, (including vitamins and herbals), and sometimes foods and beverages. For instance, people who already use a prescribed medication to thin the blood should not use aspirin unless recommended by a health professional. There are also dietary supplements known to thin the blood. Using aspirin with alcohol or with another product that also contains aspirin, such as a cough-sinus drug, can increase the chance of side effects.
Your health professional will consider your current state of health. Some medical conditions, such as pregnancy, uncontrolled high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, asthma, peptic (stomach) ulcers, liver and kidney disease, could make aspirin a bad choice for you.
Make sure that all your health professionals are aware that you are using aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack and clot-related strokes.
FACT: Once your doctor decides that daily use of aspirin is for you, safe use depends on following your doctor's directions.
There are no directions on the label for using aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack or clot-related stroke. You may rely on your health professional to provide the correct information on dose and directions for use. Using aspirin correctly gives you the best chance of getting the greatest benefits with the fewest unwanted side effects. Discuss with your health professional the different forms of aspirin products that might be best suited for you.
Aspirin has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, but not all over-the-counter pain and fever reducers do that. Even though the directions on the aspirin label do not apply to this use of aspirin, you still need to read the label to confirm that the product you buy and use contains aspirin at the correct dose. Check the Drug Facts label for "active ingredients: aspirin" or "acetylsalicylic acid" at the dose that your health professional has prescribed.
Remember, if you are using aspirin everyday for weeks, months or years to prevent a heart attack, stroke, or for any use not listed on the label — without the guidance from your health professional — you could be doing your body more harm than good.
What about taking an aspirin like we see on television? You should not delay calling 9-1-1 to take an aspirin. Studies have shown that people sometimes delay seeking help if they take an aspirin (or other medicine). Emergency department personnel will give people experiencing a heart attack an aspirin as soon as they arrive. So, the best thing to do is to call 9-1-1 immediately and let the professionals give the aspirin.
Aspirin is now given to all patients who arrive at the hospital emergency department with a suspected heart attack. Aspirin acts to thin the blood and lessen the size of a blood clot during a heart attack.
Aspirin helps to lower the risk of a heart attack for those who have already had one. It also helps to keep arteries open in those who have had a previous heart bypass or other artery-opening procedure such as coronary angioplasty.
Because of its risks, aspirin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for preventing heart attacks in healthy individuals. It may be harmful for some persons, especially those with no risk of heart disease. Patients must be assessed carefully to make sure the benefits of taking aspirin outweigh the risks. Talk to your doctor about whether taking aspirin is right for you.
Taking Aspirin to Lower Your Risk of Getting a Heart Attack
If you are at risk for a heart attack, taking aspirin every day or every other day can lower your risk.
How Do I Know if I Am At Higher Risk for A Heart Attack?
You may be at higher risk for a heart attack if you can say yes to any of the following:
- I am a man over 40.
- I am a woman past menopause.
- I smoke.
- I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease.
If you answered "Yes" to any of these, talk to your doctor or nurse about whether taking aspirin is right for you.
Is Aspirin Safe for You?
For most people, taking aspirin is safe. But for some people, aspirin can increase the chance of bleeding in the stomach or intestines and may cause a small increase in some kinds of stroke.
For that reason, taking aspirin is not the right choice for everyone. The higher your risk of heart disease, the more you have to gain by taking aspirin.
What Should I Do?
Ask your doctor or nurse about taking aspirin. They can help you decide:
- Whether to take aspirin.
- What kind to take.
- How much to take.
- How often to take it.