An Aspirin a Day ... or Not?
Aspirin's protective powers may now guard against cancer, too.
More Isn't Always Better continued...
Unfortunately, unlike aspirin, these gastroprotective drugs
cost a bit more than a couple of cents a day. "If there were no added cost
to taking a PPI with a daily aspirin, every aspirin user could benefit from an
added level of GI protection," says Fendrick. "But given the current
cost of these agents, I only currently recommend gastroprotective therapy to
those aspirin users who are at increased risk for GI complications."
That includes people who have had gastrointestinal
complications in the past, people who are using high-dose NSAIDs or combining
aspirin with other NSAIDs, and people who are taking anticoagulant drugs, among
others. "Many older people take aspirin for their heart and then another
NSAID for their arthritis," says Fendrick. "This is one of those cases
in which two rights make a wrong; the aspirin is good, the NSAID is good, but
together they can be dangerous."