The daily aspirin recommendation so many doctors still cling onto is starting to grind me down a little… actually a lot.
As is the case with so many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, the mainstream just doesn’t seem to get the message. They still sing the old tune of ‘it’s gentle, it’s safe, it can’t do any harm…’
The truth is, the same properties that make aspirin work in stopping blood from clotting may also cause unwanted side effects, such as stomach bleeding, bleeding in the brain, kidney failure, and strokes.
Terror on the loose
Since we started the Daily Health eAlert, we have been regularly warning our readers about the dangers of aspirin. In the past two years particularly, more and more studies have shown that regular aspirin use is simply not good for you.
In fact, the risks associated with aspirin therapy are starting to outweigh the miniscule benefits it has to offer by far. Recently, I told you how using aspirin as a hangover preventative can cause liver toxicity. This is because the combination of alcohol and aspirin puts a lot of stress on your liver.
In another study, researchers were hoping to show that a combination therapy of aspirin and Plavix (both blood thinning drugs) would further reduce the risk of a second stroke occuring in patients who had already suffered a stroke. Generally, less clotting means lower stroke risk. So it’s customary to give these sort of drugs to stroke patients.
However, the study showed that using these two drugs together caused more bleeding and higher mortality.
Six years ago, US researchers tested Plavix combined with aspirin on subjects with cardiovascular risk factors. They hoped that stroke and heart attack risks would be lower than if subjects used either of the drugs on their own.
Guess what? There was no benefit in combining the drugs and the heart disease death rate almost doubled among subjects who took both drugs.
If you have heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, then your doctor is more than likely to recommend a daily aspirin…
Before you take it though, think about the risks… and also keep the results of the latest aspirin study in mind.
Researchers at the University of Sydney, in Australia, have found that regular use of aspirin can more than double the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Among non-regular users of aspirin, rates of wet – meovascular – AMD increased from 0.8 per cent at five years to 1.6 per cent at 10 years and 3.7 per cent at 15 years. Rates in regular aspirin users (those taking the drug more than once a week), were 1.9 per cent, 7 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.
That’s alarming to say the least!
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“Adding Plavix to Aspirin Doesn’t Help Guard Against Second Stroke: Study” HealthDay News, 8/29/12, healthday.com
“Plavix fails test to widen its use” USA Today, 3/12/06, usatoday.com
“Dr. Oz: Why take low-dose aspirin every day?” Herald- Tribune, 11/22/11, health.hearldtribune.com
“Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines: a systematic review and meta-analysis” The Lancet, published online ahead of print 10/27/11, thelancet.com