An Aspirin A Day Keeps The Doctor Away..Or Does It?

This most inexpensive medication has been known for ages to be one of the most useful as well. In fact, 3 decades ago, the medical fraternity were singing praises about it – to the extent that healthy doctors were taking it ‘just in case’ an illness were to strike them.There were calls then to even include aspirin in the community water supply so that people would benefit. Read here to find out 50 Everyday Uses For Aspirin.

Popping an aspirin during an impending heart attack can be life-saving

What does aspirin do? Quite simply, it thins the blood enough to prevent clots from forming within the blood vessels and thereby preventing blockage. This way, various diseases caused by blockage of arteries could be prevented. This includes heart attacks, some strokes and deep vein thrombosis (aka economy class syndrome ).

Now, aspirin, a humble drug which has been used as a pain-killer for over a century, has come under severe cross-examination. Why? Largely because researchers have recently discovered that taking aspirin pills does not prevent heart or blood-vessel disease in otherwise normal people. Its still useful for those who have already got a stroke or heart attack, but if normal people were to take it, no benefits were found. In fact, there is the danger of some of them encountering one of its notorious side-effects – bleeding in the stomach – which may occur for the first time up to months after commencement.What makes it more ominous is that the bleeding can be silent (without any pain) and quite a bit of blood can be lost before symptoms of anemia set in.

Bleeding points in the stomach wall (ulcers), due to aspirin.

Despite this danger, aspirin remains a popular inexpensive medication today although its benefits have not been widely publicized. WHY? Because the ‘big pharmas’ do not find it cost-effective to market such an inexpensive medication despite its proven benefits.  To prevent heart attacks, the estimated cost of a prescription of aspirin per year for one person is less than USD 4. Compare this with the cost of using cholesterol-lowering medications per year – USD2,000 – and you can see where the money is!

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One response

  1. Doc,
    After my angioplasty, was told to take aspirin and Plavix.The former caused gastritis and I had to stop it and now on just Plavix. In your recent post, you pointed out that Plavix does not work in some people. What do I do now?

    Doctor2008 says:Yours is a dilemma that is becoming quite common among angioplasty patients. But Plavix is ineffective only in a minority – see my post https://doctor2008.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/5-best-selling-medications-in-the-world-one-is-not-that-effective/.
    There are several alternatives which have all not been proven solidly – these include doubling the dose of Plavix, using the newer medications similar to Plavix.

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