While taking a low dose aspirin a day may help prevent the reoccurrence of heart attack and stroke in people who previously have suffered such an event, it may not be appropriate or effective in people who have never had heart problems, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin (80 milligrams (mg) of aspirin, compared with 325 mg in a regular strength tablet) can help prevent a reoccurrence,” Dr. Robert Temple, deputy director for clinical science at the FDA, said in an agency news release.
However, an analysis of data from major studies does not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medicine in people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or heart problems. In these people, aspirin provides no benefits and puts them at risk for side effects such as dangerous bleeding in the brain or stomach, the FDA said.
Anyone thinking about taking low-dose aspirin should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor. It’s also important to have your doctor determine the dose and frequency that’s appropriate for you.