Aspirin Therapy in Heart Disease
What is aspirin therapy for heart disease?
If you are at risk for cardiovascular disease, your healthcare provider may recommend you take a daily low dose of aspirin. Aspirin therapy can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if you’ve had these conditions previously.
How does aspirin therapy help prevent heart disease?
Taking aspirin daily, known as an aspirin regimen, reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Aspirin thins your blood and helps prevent blood clots that can cause these conditions.
What is low-dose aspirin therapy?
People on low-dose aspirin therapy typically take 81 milligrams each day, sometimes known as baby aspirin. Healthcare providers may recommend a different aspirin dose for some people. Talk to your provider about whether aspirin therapy is right for you and how much you should take.
Who might benefit from aspirin therapy?
You may benefit from taking a low-dose aspirin every day if you have:
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- A history of smoking.
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol).
- Coronary artery disease.
- Peripheral artery disease.
- History of heart attack or stroke.
If you have a history of stroke or heart attack, talk to your healthcare provider. Aspirin therapy may help prevent a second heart attack or stroke.
How effective is aspirin therapy for heart disease?
Aspirin therapy can have a significant impact on lowering your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This is especially true in people with multiple risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Always talk to your provider before taking aspirin for heart disease.
What are the benefits of aspirin therapy?
Aspirin helps reduce the risk of blood clots in people with cardiovascular disease or a history of clot-related strokes or transient ischemic attack (TIA). It may also help people with blood flow problems due to blood vessel disease.
What are the guidelines for aspirin therapy?
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting (or stopping) aspirin therapy for heart disease. Your provider will tell you whether aspirin is good for your heart and how much you should take.
One baby aspirin per day (81 milligrams) is enough to help prevent heart attack or stroke. Higher doses will increase your risk of bleeding. If you do not have many risk factors for heart disease, are older, or have a high risk of life-threatening bleeding, then aspirin therapy may not be right for you.
How should I take aspirin therapy?
Take your aspirin as directed by your healthcare provider. Swallow the tablets whole. Don’t crush or chew them. Take aspirin during or after a meal with a full glass of water to help prevent an upset stomach.
What are the risks of a low-dose aspirin therapy regimen?
Aspirin can cause bleeding and may increase your risk of kidney failure. Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of:
- Alcohol use disorder.
- Allergy to aspirin.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding or stomach ulcer.
Could I overdose on low-dose aspirin?
Adults who take 81 milligrams of aspirin each day are not in danger of an overdose. You could experience sudden (acute) aspirin poisoning if you take a lot of aspirin at once — for example, about 30 tablets of 325 milligrams each if you weigh 150 pounds.
Does aspirin therapy have side effects?
Aspirin can cause stomach bleeding, irritation and ulcers in some people. You may also experience:
What drug interactions should I be aware of if I’m on aspirin therapy?
Tell your healthcare provider about any medications (especially anticoagulants) you take. Let your provider know if you take over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements or vitamins. Some medications and supplements may thin your blood and could increase your bleeding risk if you also take aspirin therapy.
Before any procedure, emergency treatment or dental work, tell the provider that you are taking low-dose aspirin therapy.
Talk to your healthcare provider about using alcohol if you are on aspirin therapy. Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
How long should I take aspirin therapy?
Continue taking aspirin therapy as directed by your healthcare provider. Don’t stop taking low-dose aspirin unless your provider tells you to.
Who should not take low-dose aspirin for heart disease?
Aspirin therapy may not be right for you if you are pregnant or you have:
- Bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease.
- Stomach ulcers.
- Kidney disease.
- Liver disease.
Should I take aspirin therapy if I’m having a heart attack?
If you experience chest pain or think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 before you do anything else. Take aspirin only if instructed to by emergency medical technicians. You should take no more than four baby aspirin (81mg) if you are experiencing a heart attack.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you’re at risk for heart attack or stroke, daily low-dose aspirin therapy may reduce your risk, especially if you’ve previously had these conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether aspirin therapy for heart disease is right for you.
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