For more than 100 years, aspirin has been used as a pain reliever. Since the 1970s, aspirin has also been used to prevent and manage heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends baby aspirin for "those at risk of heart attack (if told by their doctor) and for those who have survived a heart attack". The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, believes that aspirin should only be taken by patients who have heart disease or a history of heart attack or stroke. The FDA states that taking aspirin creates a risk of bleeding that outweighs the benefits of taking aspirin for people who do not have a history of heart attack or stroke.
Talk to your doctor first before taking aspirin. The following facts are meant to help you talk to your doctor about whether aspirin therapy is right for you.