If you have
atrial fibrillation and have a low risk of stroke, you might take aspirin to help lower your risk of stroke. Aspirin may be a good choice if you are young and have no other
heart or health problems or if you can't take an anticoagulant (also called a blood thinner) safely.
Who should not take low-dose aspirin?
shouldn't take aspirin. These include people who:
- Have a stomach ulcer.
recently had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.
allergic to aspirin.
- Have high blood
pressure that isn't under control.
asthma that is made worse by aspirin.
Daily aspirin isn't
advised for people who have a low risk of heart attack or stroke.
If you think you are having a
stroke, do not take aspirin because not all strokes are caused by clots. Aspirin could make some
Gout can become
worse or hard to treat for some people who take low-dose aspirin.
If you can't take aspirin, your doctor may have you take clopidogrel (Plavix)
to help prevent a heart attack or a stroke.
If you take an anticoagulant, such as warfarin (Coumadin), talk with your doctor before taking aspirin, because taking both medicines can cause bleeding problems.
What should I avoid when taking low-dose aspirin therapy?
Drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while
taking daily aspirin increases your risk for liver damage and stomach bleeding.
If your doctor recommends aspirin, limit or stop alcohol usage.
Aspirin should not be taken with many prescription and over-the-counter
drugs, vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements. So before you start aspirin
therapy, talk to your doctor about all the drugs and other remedies you
Because aspirin reduces your blood's ability to clot, your
doctor may want you to stop taking aspirin at least 5 days before any surgery
or dental procedure that may cause bleeding. Do not suddenly stop taking
aspirin without talking to your doctor first. Talking to your doctor first is
especially important if you have had a
stent placed in a
Tell your doctor if
you notice that you bruise easily, have bloody or black stools, or have
prolonged bleeding from cuts or scrapes.
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as
ibuprofen and naproxen, relieve pain and inflammation much like aspirin does,
they do not affect blood clotting in the same way that aspirin does. Do not
substitute NSAIDs for aspirin, because they will not decrease your risk of
another heart attack.
If you need both aspirin and a pain
reliever every day, talk to your doctor about what pain reliever you should
take. If you take uncoated aspirin and ibuprofen at the
same time, the aspirin may not work as well to prevent a heart attack. You may
be able to use acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen to treat your pain. But if
ibuprofen is your only option, avoid taking it during the 8 hours before and the 30 minutes after your
aspirin dose. For example, you can take ibuprofen 30
minutes after your aspirin dose. If you take ibuprofen once in a while, it does
not seem to cause problems.