The benefits most commonly associated with taking aspirin are short-term relief of mild pain and the reduction of blood clotting that can possibly prevent heart attacks or strokes. While some aspirin treatments are isolated instances that do not mandate daily consumption, other treatments call for consuming a regular and recurring dose of aspirin. Coated aspirin is popularly believed to prevent stomach problems that are often associated with an aspirin regimen.
People who take aspirin on a daily basis usually do so to lessen blood clotting and therefore reduce their risk for heart attacks or strokes. Regular doses of aspirin can cause a reduction in the blood’s ability to clot, and the thinned blood is less likely to become blocked by obstructions such as thick arterial lining. Reducing clotting and preventing blockages can significantly reduce the risk of heart and brain damage via heart attack or stroke.
Unfortunately, a steady recurring dosage of aspirin can lead to stomach issues such as ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Coated aspirin, also referred to as enteric-coated aspirin, is a normal aspirin pill covered in a solid shell that can not be dissolved by stomach acid. This outside layer allows the pill to pass through the stomach intact, and begin dissolving once it reaches the intestines. Theoretically, coated aspirin is less likely to cause stomach unrest than uncoated aspirin because it dissolves outside of the stomach.
The benefits of coated aspirin sound good on paper, but there is a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of enteric-coated aspirin. Some studies show that despite the enteric coating, the outside shell of coated aspirin tablets does not do enough to protect the gastrointestinal system from the corrosive effects of the drug. Others claim that not only is coated aspirin ineffective at preventing stomach problems, it is also less effective at preventing heart attacks and strokes than uncoated aspirin.
Realistically, only a doctor can make decisions about what type or dosage of aspirin is correct per patient. Those taking aspirin to treat isolated instances of pain should stand to benefit from coated aspirin because it will deliver enough medicine to relieve discomfort and will possibly protect the stomach from unrest. People taking any kind of aspirin, even coated aspirin, often or on a regular basis should be sure to consume the medicine with a full glass of water and with at least some food in the stomach.