Low-dose daily aspirin therapy is recommended for patients at high risk of heart attacks. The medication can also help prevent a second stroke or heart attack in patients. Ideally, your personal physician will evaluate your medical condition and overall health before starting you on daily aspirin therapy.
Recommended Daily Aspirin Dose
There is no uniform aspirin dose. Doctors usually assess the medical history and current lifestyle of the patient before deciding on a low-dose aspirin therapy. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations state that men in the 45-to-79 age group and women in the 55-to-79 age group are ideal patients for daily aspirin therapy. However, despite several clinical trials, the exact dose of aspirin for each patient is not clear. In the U.S., the most common starting dose is 80 milligrams, which is less than the standard baby aspirin dose. Depending on the case history and current conditions, doctors may also increase the dose to 160 or 325 milligrams per day. The most common dose is 75 to 81 milligrams per day.
How Do You Know You Are Taking the Right Dose?
The American Heart Association has specific guidelines for daily low-dose aspirin therapy, but these guidelines do change every year. Low-dose aspirin usually does not have major side effects. However, if you experience gastrointestinal bleeding, allergic reactions, tinnitus and hearing loss, get in touch with your doctor right away to adjust the aspirin dose or to switch over to another medication.
The Bottom Line
Daily aspirin therapy is beneficial to patients and it is now a standard preventive therapy for almost all patients at risk of heart attack. However, researchers are also coming up with newer and better alternatives like superaspirin. Although this drug is the same as aspirin, it works on a slightly different principle and it can safely be given to patients who are resistant or allergic to aspirin. To increase the beneficial effects of aspirin, researchers sometimes recommend a combination of Plavix (anti-blood-clotting drug) with aspirin. This combination seems to work better than aspirin alone in reducing the incidence of future heart attacks or strokes.
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