Aspirin therapy is a preventative care regimen which is designed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. It should be performed under the supervision of a doctor, as serious side effects can be associated with aspirin therapy, and it is important to make sure that this treatment is appropriate for a patient. Although numerous aspirin companies have touted such therapy and advertised the suitability of their products for it, a patient should not start aspirin therapy without talking to a doctor.
As early as the 1940s, doctors noted that aspirin appeared to play a role in heart attacks and strokes, and that people who took more aspirin tended to have a reduced risk of these types of medical events. A great deal of research was conducted, and the conclusion was that taking a low dosage of aspirin on a daily basis could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for certain people. Low doses are between 75 and 150 milligrams a day.
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This therapy takes advantage of aspirin's anti-clotting properties. Taking regular low-dose aspirin appears to reduce the development of blood clots, thereby reducing ischemic stroke, in which a blood clot cuts off the blood supply to the brain, and certain types of heart attacks. Taking aspirin while a heart attack is occurring also appears to improve the prognosis for the patient, incidentally, and aspirin is also sometimes used in stroke treatment. But before you whip open the medicine cabinet for your daily dose, there are a few things to know.
Doctors generally only recommend aspirin therapy to patients with an increased risk of heart attack of stroke, such as people who have experienced such events in the past and individuals with a medical or family history which suggests an increased risk. This preventative care plan is not safe for people with bleeding disorders, heart failure, liver failure, asthma, and stomach ulcers, because aspirin therapy can actually make these conditions worse. Furthermore, cessation of aspirin therapy has to be carefully performed, or a rebound effect which causes clotting can occur.
Taking aspirin on a daily basis over a prolonged period of time can contribute to the formation of ulcers, brain bleeds, and kidney failure. In fact, it can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, a stroke caused by a bleed in the brain. Aspirin can also conflict with certain types of medications, making it important for patients and doctors to work together on an aspirin therapy plan.