Take an aspirin – but check with doctor first*

“Take an aspirin” used to be a derogatory phrase in response to someone complaining about anything. Today, I don’t hear it as often, as many folks are like me and take a baby aspirin (81 mg) each day under the guidance and awareness of their doctor.*

Taking a low dose aspirin (see below about checking with your doctor) aids with blood circulation to help counter coronary artery disease and could prevent a cardiac event or stroke. It should be noted, when I had a scare fifteen years ago, which turned out not to be a heart attack, the EMT handed me four baby aspirin to take. It is usually when a patient has a scare (or event), they are doctor-prescribed a daily low-dose aspirin regimen.

A 2006 Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) study revealed men and women react differently to a daily aspirin regimen. In men, it reduces heart attack risk by 32%, but does not alter stroke risk. In women, the opposite occurred, with no material difference in heart attack risk, but a 17% reduction in the risk of a stroke occurred.

A 2012 Lancet Oncology article revealed that a daily aspirin regimen reduced the risk of certain types of cancer. A recent Nurses’ study revealed taking aspirin offered a 10% reduction in the risk of Ovarian cancer for women.  And, once you get it, taking aspirin improves recovery by 30%.

If you are thinking about an aspirin regimen, please check with your doctor. This is especially true if you take other medications. There are risks such as bleeding risk (your blood does not coagulate as easily to stop bleeding) or gastrointestinal complications such as ulcers or other issues.

Let me emphasize a key point. I am NOT a doctor. I am a patient. Please do NOT take my word for it. This helps me (although it does take a few extra seconds to stop a wound from bleeding), but do your research and speak with your doctor, especially if you take other medicines. And, speaking with a doctor is even more critical if you are on blood thinners or other pain killers. Aspirin is not a panacea, but it might help under the right circumstances. A doctor can help you decide.* 

* Note: There are instances where taking aspirin is inappropriate. Again, please check with your doctor before any regimen is started or if you have an issue arise. I am always concerned with folks taking other medications or who have an accident. Please refer to Hugh’s comment below, as a good reason why you should speak with a doctor before taking any medicine. The purpose of this post is to create conversation with your doctor (if you feel this might benefit you), not substitute for such conversation, as I am not qualified at all, to offer medical advice.

8 thoughts on “Take an aspirin – but check with doctor first*

  1. Last year, while starting out on one of my trail maintenance trips, the crew leader, a man with oodles of Wilderness First Aid training, handed each of us a packet of aspirin and requested that we put them in our pockets. “It may not be you that needs this. Maybe it will be me. But if someone you are working with needs it, you will be glad to have it there in your pocket.” I have now added that regime to all my outdoor activities. And yes, I do take a baby aspirin each night, per doctor’s orders.

    • Thanks Linda. Your story is a good one. There are times when aspirin is not appropriate, so I appreciate your sensitivity to get the doctor’s orders, first.

      • Linda, absolutely. Also, I was scared once when a doctor said I should not have given my son an aspirin after he bumped his head in accident. He was fine, but if had a concussion, that would have been the wrong painkiller. Keith

  2. A cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic told me that a baby asprin taken daily actually increases the risk of stroke. I have AFIB and was put on Warfarin instead of the aspirin I had been taking. As you say, check with your doctor!!!

    • Hugh, your example clearly points out why you should check with your doctor first, especially since you are taking medication. I found the difference in impact on men and women fascinating. Many thanks, Keith

  3. Dear Keith,

    I will be starting this regiment but it is important to tell one’s doctor. This is an important fact for a doctor to know in the event of an emergency. I’ve also read sometime in the past, that this regiment can delay the onslaught of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Hugs, Gronda

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