Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Aspirin, Walking Can Reduce Leg Pain From Narrowed Arteries

Study Shows Aspirin as Effective as Pricier Plavix for Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD Raises Heart Attack, Stroke Risk continued...

If you have pain when you walk in back of one or both of your legs that gets better with rest, then getting checked for PAD may be in order.

Verghese Mathew, MD, agrees. He is an interventional cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The big picture with PAD is all about improving overall heart health. This includes controlling blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and encouraging people to quit smoking if they smoke.

“Intermittent claudication is a symptom, but PAD is a powerful [indicator] of risk for heart disease,” he says.

Mathew says treatment of PAD can sometimes come down to a case-by-case basis. For some people with PAD, Plavix may be better at reducing risks for heart attack and strokes, even though it appears to be similar to aspirin in terms of pain-free walking. “Heart risks should be managed aggressively in people with PAD,” he says.

Juan P. Zambrano, MD, suggests aspirin for people with PAD unless they are allergic to it or can’t take it long-term due to stomach irritation. He is the director of the vascular section of interventional cardiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Sometimes he needs to bring in the big guns like Plavix, but he usually reserves this for people who are having surgery to open blocked leg arteries.

Importantly, Zambrano says, the study shows the benefits of exercise. “This is one more study that shows you when PAD patients exercise they can walk more and tolerate more distance.”

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure