Who Can Benefit From Daily Aspirin?
Aspirin is not only good for your heart, but it is also recommended to treat mini strokes, coronary conditions, rheumatologic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and minor aches and pains. It is considered one of the most common pain relievers and over-the-counter medications and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. In fact, more than 80 billion aspirin are taken each year to treat headaches, fevers, and body pain and to help prevent heart attacks, cancer, and strokes.
Benefits of Aspirin
While taking an aspirin a day was once thought to lower the risk of heart attack, that is no longer the case, health experts say. Only those who are actually at risk of having a heart attack will benefit from a daily aspirin regiment. The reason is because aspirin interferes with the body’s ability to clot blood and when platelets, or blood clotting cells, build up, a seal is formed to stop the blood vessel from bleeding.
Of course, for normal body aches, fevers or headaches, an Aspirin will relieve the pain. It’s a great pain reliever for tension headaches, which is the most common type of headache. And when used after surgery, Aspirin can be taken for up to a year after heart procedures, like a coronary artery stent placement, to prevent dangerous blood clots. Aspirin even reduces the chances of getting cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, although the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends against using it as prevention if the cancer risk is fairly low.
Side Effects of Aspirin
On the other hand, health experts warn that some people can have adverse reactions to aspirin. Hives may appear or swelling can occur, which is the body reacting to the inability to tolerate salicylate. This isn’t an allergy; it can actually cause an overdose because the body can’t metabolize the Aspirin.
With some people who take aspirin, serious side effects can occur, such as internal bleeding and stomach ulcers. Taking too much aspirin can also cause a blood clotting disorder in some people. The Food and Drug Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all agree that children and teenagers should not take aspirin for a fever because it makes them at risk for Reye’s syndrome, a rare but fatal illness that has been seen when kids are sick with viral or bacterial infections. The bottle has a warning label on it with information about the risk of Reye’s syndrome, which the FDA passed in 1986.