‘Take 2 and call me in the morning.’
Dr. John Whyte Chief Medical Officer at WebMD states that for more than a century aspirin has been considered a wonder drug; treating conditions from heart disease to easing pain.
However, medical providers and scientists are gaining a greater understanding of this ‘wonder drug.’ Even though you can purchase this item over the counter (OTC) without a prescription it may not always be safe.
Aspirin works by inhibiting the blood from clotting which can also increase bleeding. Through recently well-designed large investigations we now know that if you have already have had a heart attack, the benefits of aspirin to ward future heart attacks and some types of strokes are likely greater than the risk of major bleeding.
However, if you’ve never had a heart attack or stroke age and risk are important factors.
- Younger than 50 yo, most studies don’t support daily aspirins
- If you’re between 50 – 69, calculate your 10-yr. cardiovascular disease risk which increases if you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- If you are 70 or older and have never suffered a heart attack or stroke, the benefit of daily aspirin is unclear
Consulting your health care professional always is the best call. If you have chest pain or any of the known symptoms of a heart attack always call 9-1-1. According to the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, heart attacks are just as common for women as men, and fast treatment makes all the difference. Yet women wait 37 minutes longer to call for help. Even though a pain in the chest and left arm are the most common signs, these symptoms are more common in men. Women, on the other hand, often feel back, shoulder or stomach pain during a heart attack.