Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet drug, and is used to treat pain, fever, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
The benefits of taking aspirin daily include if you:
Have had a heart attack or chest pain
Had open heart surgery
Had coronary angioplasty
Had a stroke or TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)
Have peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
Have heart rhythm problems, such as atrial fibrillation (A.Fib)
Risks of taking aspirin every day include minor bleeding or bruising, worsening of asthma, upset stomach, or allergic reaction. Children should not be given aspirin due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome (rapidly progressive brain dysfunction). Contraindications for use of aspirin include allergies to NSAID’s, peptic ulcers, GERD or gastritis, hemophilia, kidney disease, and gout.
There are 2 forms of aspirin you can take. Please ask your doctor which is best for you. The first type is called non-enteric coated. This means the aspirin does not have a protective coating that keeps your stomach from being upset, but is best to take when having active chest pain. This type comes in a chewable form. The enteric coated aspirin has the protective covering that keeps your stomach safe. This type cannot be chewed or crushed. Do not take any aspirin with alcohol as it increase chance of bleeding and stomach distress.
Please seek immediate medical attention if you have an allergic reaction, stools are black or bloody, vomit or cough up blood, there if blood is in your urine or you feel shortness of breath.
Information obtained from Elsevier Interactive Patient Education, Elsevier Inc. (2017).