You may have read or heard of several reports that taking daily aspirin — yes, that old resident of your grandmother’s medicine cabinet — may have benefits for modern health problems. “Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, is a drug indicated for many different things,” says Kenneth Perry, M.D., an emergency physician in Charleston, South Carolina. “From fever management to pain management, even heart attack treatment, there seems to be a new indication every few months.” That said, this common everyday drug, called aspirin, is strong and can cause serious side effects in certain people. Read on to learn more about the features and benefits of aspirin and what taking aspirin daily does to your body. ANand to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Certain Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It..
Aspirin works by inhibiting prostaglandins, the enzyme that serves as an on-off switch for pain and inflammation. That is why it has been used for more than a century for fever and pain. Today, it is still commonly prescribed to treat or prevent health problems caused by inflammation in the body.
It must be repeated: Aspirin is a strong drug and some people cannot tolerate it well. “Chronic use of aspirin can damage the lining of the stomach and cause ulcers and pain,” says Leann Poston, MD. “The risk increases in people over age 65, people with a history of stomach ulcers, and people who take blood thinners or drink alcohol.”
If you are sensitive to aspirin, your doctor may recommend that you take another NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) instead, such as ibuprofen.
“If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may want you to take a low-dose aspirin daily to help prevent another,” says the American Heart Association. “Aspirin is part of a well-developed treatment plan for patients with a history of heart attack or stroke.” But the AHA notes that you shouldn’t take daily aspirin unless your doctor prescribes it — they can help you evaluate the risks and benefits and determine if daily aspirin is right for you.
Aspirin is one of the most well-known anticoagulants, meaning it thins the blood. This has benefits (such as reducing the risk of a second heart attack or stroke, which are often caused by blood clotting) and risks.
“In case of injury, internal or external platelets aggregate at the site to help the blood to clot. When you take aspirin daily, this aggregation is affected and leads to decreased coagulation, says Nikhil Agarwal, MD. increase bleeding, especially if you take certain other supplements or take certain medications.” One possible side effect is gastrointestinal bleeding, says Barry Gorlitsky, MD.
According to a 2016 meta-analysis published in the magazine JAMA Oncology, people who took aspirin for six years or more had a 19% lower risk of colorectal cancer and a 15% lower risk of gastrointestinal cancer of any type. The researchers estimate that regular aspirin use can prevent nearly 11% of colorectal cancers and 8% of gastrointestinal cancers diagnosed in the US each year.
According to dr. Guy Citrin, ND, daily aspirin use can cause tinnitus, which is the perception of sound or ringing in the ears. This generally goes away when the drug is discontinued.
Another possible side effect of daily aspirin use is liver damage, according to dr. Khawar Siddique by DOCS Spine + Orthopedics. According to the Cleveland Clinic, jaundice is a sign of liver damage, a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes turn yellow.
Reye’s syndrome is a rare condition that causes confusion and swelling in the brain. “The exact cause of Reye’s syndrome is unknown, but it most commonly affects children and young adults recovering from a viral infection,” says the NHS. “In most cases, aspirin has been used to treat their symptoms, so aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome.” For this reason, doctors do not recommend giving children or teens aspirin for fever or pain.
if someone has epilepsy or taking medications to prevent seizures, taking aspirin can affect that. For example, because aspirin is a blood thinner, it can alter the amount of medication in the bloodstream. It is best to consult your doctor before taking daily aspirin. And to get through this pandemic as healthy as possible, don’t miss this one 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.