You may have heard through the media or from a loved one that taking aspirin can lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. Although this can be true for some cases, it's important to understand the facts about aspirin before implementing your own over-the-counter regimen. For some, the benefit of taking aspirin daily can be great; while for others, it increases their risk for other serious conditions.
Here are 5 Facts You Should Know About Aspirin:
- Aspirin is a drug. And every drug -prescription or over-the-counter - has benefits and risks associated with its use.
- Aspirin has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, clot-related strokes and other blood flow problems when taken daily. Medical professionals may prescribe aspirin for these uses, particularly if you have a type of heart or blood vessel disease, or evidence of poor blood flow to the brain.
- Aspirin can also cause major side effects if taken in excess or in combination with other medications, including stroke, stomach bleeding/ulcers, bleeding in the brain and kidney failure.
- A daily aspirin regimen should only prescribed by a medical health professional. He/she will review you medical history, allergies and sensitivities, and any medications or supplements you're also taking. This will help determine a safe dosage and directions that are customized for you.
- Stopping daily aspirin therapy can have a rebound effect, and actually increase your risk of heart attack. If you have been taking daily aspirin therapy and want to stop, it's important to talk to your doctor beforehand. Suddenly stopping your daily aspirin therapy could trigger a blood clot!
Although aspirin is sold without a prescription, can be found at any local drugstore and the commercials on TV boast it's advantages, you should always consult with your physician before starting a daily regimen. It's possible that you have a sensitivity, allergy or other condition and the heart, lung and vascular care professionals at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines and UnityPoint Clinic - Cardiology can determine the type of treatment and therapy that is right for you.
Sometimes aspirin is the answer, and sometimes it's not. We can help.